'Empty Bowls' fill potters' shelves
On Wednesday, in the Dunn County Pottery workshop of John Thomas, several volunteers were busy glazing ceramic bowls for the Empty Bowls event to be held at the Menomonie Middle School on Sunday, March 30. Laurie Olson (right) and her daughter April (left) worked along side Thomas (center) dipping and painting the glazes on 342 bowls produced at Menomonie High School and 40 bowls created at the Middle School. Another 250 bowls are being made and donated by area potters. Photo by Deb Anderson/Dunn County News

Bowls, bowls and more bowls -- over 500 bowls are now being glazed under the leadership of John Thomas of Dunn County Pottery in Downsville.

The bowls were made by local volunteer potters and students in preparation for Empty Bowls, an event to raise funds to help the hungry and homeless. Empty Bowls will be Sunday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Menomonie Middle School, 920 21st St., Menomonie.

Along with another 100 or so bowls from various area potters, they will be filled with homemade soup and handed out along with homemade bread and beverages -- for a donation of $15. At the event, patrons will also find entertainment, displays, children's activities, a letter-writing table, and a potters' silent auction.

With approximately 600 bowls, the goal is to raise $10,000. Funds raised will benefit three local organizations: Interfaith Food Pantry, House of Hope, and Menomonie Area Bread for the World.

Local churches and volunteers are preparing the soup and bread for the event. Others who are interested in donating homemade soup or bread should contact Rose Studebaker, 235-3409, very soon.

Musical solos and ensembles will be entertaining throughout the event. Expected are individuals and groups from Menomonie High School, University of Wisconsin-Stout International Students, and the wider community.

Empty Bowls is sponsored by Menomonie Area Bread for the World and the Menomonie Middle School Student Council. Adult volunteers and middle school students will be working together to serve the meal and tend the displays and letter-writing table.

The "letter writing table" will have information to help participants to write letters in support of Bread for the World's 2003 Offering of Letters, "Rise to the Challenge: End World Hunger." The letters will ask members of Congress to adopt legislation to fully fund the U.S. share of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals, which plan for effective development for the world's poorest people.

More than 800 million people in the world are hungry and/or severely malnourished --vulnerable to illness and death. Six million children under age five die of hunger-related causes every year. 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a day.

In the United States, 35 million people live in families that suffer food insecurity, often having to rely on food pantries for emergency food. Eleven million people are chronically hungry. One child in five lives in poverty.

These statistics from Bread for the World underlie our desire to work together locally, nationally and internationally to end hunger.

For more information, contact Julie McNaughton, Coordinator of Menomonie Area Bread for the World, 235-9377.

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(2) comments


It is good that everyone in the community is coming forward to lend a helping hand. Poverty has been an ongoing problem at certain areas and more needs to be done to help those who are hungry every single day. Making empty storage bowls is just one platform whereas there are indeed other channels where we can all contribute toward alleviating poverty.


Making that many little storage containers for the needy is such a lovely initiative! I can imagine that many family units will be rushing for the giveaways from this small project. We should try and do something similar in Brisbane South so that the people here can be reminded of the plight of so many in the impoverished countries.

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