Wittenberg to offer Empty Bowls fundraiser

An annual effort to help curb local hunger issues will be fulfilled in a way it hasn’t for several years this week.

Empty Bowls, Wittenberg University’s version of a national fundraising effort supporting food banks, will be 4:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, April 21, in the school’s atrium and Room 105 of the Joseph C. Shouvlin Center for Lifelong Learning.

Although it will not offer a dine-in option, attendees can still enjoy what has made Empty Bowls an anticipated event with attendees selecting a bowl designed and created by Wittenberg students and choosing from several soups contributed by local restaurants.

Spacing and distancing will be observed with a one-direction flow of traffic with to-go containers for the soup. The cost is $20 with proceeds supporting Second Harvest Food Bank to address food insecurity in Springfield and Clark County.

Hosted by Wittenberg’s Department of Art and Second Harvest, a scaled-down version of Empty Bowls occurred the past two years due to the pandemic, but being able to return to the regular format is much-anticipated. The last live effort in 2019 set a new record with more than $50,000 raised; the 27 years of Empty Bowls has raised more than $540,000, equaling more than two million meals.

“The event has always had a strong following in the Springfield community and a win-win fundraiser for Second Harvest,” said Scott Dooley, Professor of Art at Wittenberg. “Patrons keep the empty bowl as a reminder that there are those in the community who face food insecurity.”

Wittenberg ceramic students, staff, faculty and community members have spent the past few weekends creating, glazing and firing 1,000 bowls. Commemorative T-shirts will also be available to purchase, designed by Sarah Baker, a 2019 Wittenberg graphic design graduate.

Those who want to see the full selection of available bowls are encouraged to arrive early as they’ve sold out in the past.

“Empty Bowls is a wonderful way for Second Harvest Food Bank to bring the community together. The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of local businesses, restaurants, and individuals joining together in raising awareness to end hunger,” said Tyra Jackson, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank.

Dooley said the organizations hopes to return to offering the dine-in version of Empty Bowls in spring 2023.

For more information, go to www.wittenberg.edu.

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