OXFORD — Oxford Empty Bowls, a benefit soup luncheon dedicated to hungry people in the community, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The annual event is being held in conjunction with Miami University’s Hunger + Homelessness Awareness Week and the City of Oxford/Miami University’s Veterans Appreciation Day.
The purpose of the activity is to join other Empty Bowls projects worldwide to raise awareness and money to combat hunger. All proceeds will be donated to the Oxford Community Choice Pantry to support its efforts to provide food to local families in need.
At the luncheon, guests choose from among a collection of bowls created, decorated and donated by Miami University and Talawanda students and Oxford-area potters. Their bowls are then filled with their choice of soups made by local cooks. Luncheon guests then keep their bowls to use or display at home and to serve as a reminder that there are always empty bowls in the world. Homemade bread and desserts, and beverages donated by area businesses will also be served.
Cost is $10 for adults; children 10 and under may eat for free (bowl not included.)
For additional information on Oxford Empty Bowls, contact Connie Malone, 513-330-1273.
For information on Hunger + Homelessness Awareness Week, contact Leigh Ackerman, firstname.lastname@example.org. Hunger + Homelessness Awareness week is co-sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement & Service.
Malone organizes Oxford Empty Bowls,
“This wonderful event, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in Oxford this year, has raised over $76,000 in the past fourteen years for hunger relief in the Oxford community,” Malone shared in a recent email.
How did the event start?
Empty Bowls is actually an international hunger relief effort, though all efforts and events occur at the local, or grass-roots, level, according to Malone. The event was initially started in 1990 by a Michigan art teacher named John Hartom who was looking for a creative way for his students to support a local food drive. The idea grew, and in the 27 years since its inception, Empty Bowls has grown into an international event, held now in twenty different countries and raising millions of dollars worldwide toward hunger relief.
“Our local event began in 2002 as the inspiration of Camilla Flinterman, now deceased, and Alice Laatsch, who continues to work tirelessly with me on this event,” Malone said.
Who is invited to participate?
“Everyone! Ours is a very broad-based event, spanning town and gown, with no organizational basis resting in a single entity. It is my belief that the more people who are involved, the greater the short term support for the event and the greater its chance of long-term survival. The attached flier has the details, but what it can’t convey is how much fun the luncheon is, how good the food is, how beautiful the bowls are, and how wonderful it is to know that your presence makes a difference in the lives of those served by the food pantry!” she added.
“And Oxford Empty Bowls is a fabulous time,” she said. “The entire event takes place within a warm environment that celebrates service amidst art produced by our Miami students, local children and Miami University’s Scripp’s Geronotogy Center’s ‘Opening Minds Through Art.’ It has been such a wonderful experience for me to include the work of what I think of as ‘emergent artists’ in this event. In addition to, of course, the fine work of local potters, we’ve been proud to feature art from: MU Art Department’s ‘Saturday Art’ program, McGuffey Montessori School art students, Talawanda High School art and ceramics students, Lokon and artists participating in the MU Scripps Gerontology Center’s ‘Opening Minds Through Art’ program; Butler County Recycling and Solid Waste’s ‘Recycled Sculpture Contest’ works from Ridgeway Elementary School.”
“Last year alone we raised over $8,700 for the Oxford Community Choice Pantry,” Malone shared. “In the 14 years we’ve been holding the event, over $76,000 has been raised. I am so proud to say that every single penny, every single year, goes toward alleviating hunger and food insecurity in the Oxford community — everything we have and do is donated so there are no expenses to cover or overhead to consider.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter@emowen_RH.