Thursday, November 17, 2011

Empty Bowls

My empty bowl

In my work, I am often reminded that there are hungry people in my community.  I am grateful for this reminder because hunger is commonly portrayed as an issue in "other" places, not here in the United States.  But hunger is everywhere.

This is the concept behind Powderhorn Empty Bowls, a wonderful event that I got to attend with my friend Ben.  Community members are invited to donate what they can, share soup with neighbors, and "go home with a sense of community and an empty bowl as a reminder that there are bowls that need filling year-round" (from the PEB Facebook page).  Donations from the event go to organizations in the neighborhood that address hunger and other basic needs.  Empty Bowls events happen in communities all over the world at the beginning of November.

Like BareBones, which I blogged about a few weeks ago, PEB is a volunteer-run community event.  Ceramics students at Powderhorn Park and other volunteers from the neighborhood spend months before the event throwing bowls.  The week before, more volunteers get together to make soup and bake bread in a pretty awesome outdoor earthen oven.  Guests donate what they can and choose a bowl from a gorgeous array.  They fill their bowls with soup (Ben got split pea, I got minestrone), pick up a slice of bread (okay, maybe three), and eat at long communal tables, enjoying their new bowls, delicious food, and the company of other wonderful, soup-eating folks.  Last year 1,325 bowls were made, over 1,400 people attended, and over $22,000 were donated.

I missed Empty Bowls last year because I was out of town, so I was especially excited to go this year!  Community events always prove to me that the world is very small: I ran into several people I knew from working in Powderhorn, from LVC, from my current job, and from Grinnell.  And found out that some of those people knew each other in very random ways (the friend from Grinnell knows one of the LVC friends because Grinnell friend grew up in North Carolina with LVC friend's housemate).  That's why I love community gatherings!

Sadly, I forgot my camera that night.  So instead you just get photos of my gorgeous new bowl sitting pretty in my kitchen!

1 comment:

Ben Masters said...

I'm super glad I got to see you! Let's eat soup again soon!