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‘Empty Bowls’ fill empty stomachs

BELLEVILLE, Ont. (16/01/2012) Loyalist College continuing education students Sherry Dolmage and Kristel Nicholas shape bowls by method of 'throwing'. The continuing education students hand crafted bowls for last years 'Empty Bowls' event, and also for this years event. The event is to be held in the Loyalist College cafeteria on Saturday Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photo by Tiffany McEwen.

By Tiffany McEwen

Loyalist College and Gleaners Food Bank will be helping fill stomachs with their second annual ‘Empty Bowls’ campaign. The event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Loyalist College cafeteria.
Students from the Loyalist College Culinary program, along with instructor Chef John Schneeberger, will be making soup to go along with hand-made bowls, crafted by continuing education pottery students, local potters and students of St. Theresa’s Secondary School.

The campaign, in its second year in Belleville, helps to raise money for the Gleaners Food Bank and the Quinte Region Food Share Shelter (QRFSS), an organization which is a collective of nine area food banks throughout Hastings, Prince Edward and Northumberland counties.

“In essence it signifies that around the world there are empty bowls. People are starving, they can’t fill their bowls,” said Lise Rouleau, executive of Loyalist College’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), a group of student volunteers who use their skills to help the community and work closely with Gleaners to help try to make ‘Empty Bowls’ successful.

“So it’s a symbol of hunger around the world, but it’s a way for the whole community to get together, because potters donate the bowls. The ceramic bowls are beautiful; they’re gorgeous. So then it’s a whole community coming together. They’re donating, and we’re filling the bowls.”

Last year, the event raised $3,100 for the various food banks and was host to 10 vendors. This year, Susanne Quinlan, director of operations at the Belleville Gleaners Food Bank, said the goal is to sell 175 bowls and raise $5,000.

“This is really a collaborative effort because not only are our students donating their time and talents, our clay supplier, Tuckers Pottery Supplies, donated the clay and the college is donating glazing and firing services,” said Continuing Education co-ordinator Heather Cockerline.

In addition, Aramark, the company that owns and operates the cafeteria at Loyalist College, Thompson’s Rental Service, who will be providing dishes for the event, continuing education students, local potters, students from St. Theresa’s Secondary School, Loyalist College itself and Dinkel’s restaurant have all donated supplies and time to the campaign.

The continuing education pottery students, who contribute a considerable amount of their work to Gleaners, will be providing a significant number of bowls for the event, which have been hand-crafted by way of either hand shaping or ‘throwing’, the method of shaping the clay on a spinning wheel.

The event is open to the public between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Jan. 28. Soup and a bowl can be purchased for $20, or soup without a handcrafted bowl can be purchased for $8 with all proceeds going to the food bank. The price includes a roll and dessert as well as live entertainment. Vendors will be set up with their wares for sale.