SHOW LOW — A cup of hot soup and a single slice of bread. That’s the daily meal for many in our communities facing food insecurity.

This year’s Empty Bowls Community Event held Friday, Nov. 22, raised $1,620 to assist The Love Kitchen in the fight against hunger in our White Mountain communities. One hundred individuals participated in the event hosted by Northland Pioneer College’s Visual Arts Department. This is the event’s fifth year.

For a $10 donation, participants were served a bowl of hot soup and a slice of bread, the daily calorie equivalent for many in hunger. The soup, compliments of Persnikkity’s Café and Bakery, was served up in the participant’s choice of one of the beautifully handcrafted bowls made by community members during two Make-a-Thons held this past September. Karen’s Cafe provided loaves of bread to accompany the soup. All proceeds from the Empty Bowls Community Event went to The Love Kitchen.

“Empty Bowls is an international nonprofit grassroots effort by ceramicists and educators, working with the community, to create handcrafted bowls as a way to raise awareness of food insecurity in our communities,” explains Magda Gluszek, NPC art instructor and organizer of NPC’s Empty Bowls Project. Food insecurity is defined as lack of access, at times, to enough food to live an active, healthy life. It can also be the unavailability of nutritionally adequate foods.

This was the first time attending the event for Kay Soto and Stephanie Mecimore of Lakeside. Mecimore, who recently moved to the White Mountains, stated she had participated in a similar event while living in Las Cruces N.M., and wanted to help out here as well. “This is just such a great idea to raise money and awareness of hunger,” Mecimore explained. “Getting to take home one of these beautiful handcrafted bowls is an added bonus,” she said.

For Adrienne and Lynn Tims of Snowflake, the event served as a nice mother-daughter outing. “This is just my thing,” Adrienne disclosed. “I love crafts and crafty stuff,” she said as she revealed the intricate forest scene she had drawn on a bowl she had made at a September Make-a-Thon. She chose her bowl to eat from.

Two other participants, Kaitlyn and Blake Johnson carefully found the bowls they and their family members had made. “This is the second year we have made bowls and come to this event,” Kaitlyn said. “Our entire family makes bowls each year and it has turned into a tradition we enjoy doing together,” she continued.

“I was thrilled to have so many people, including several families, show up at our two bowl Make-a-Thons. Many of them were working with ceramics for the first time,” said NPC’s Gluszek. The bowls were fired using a variety of colored glazes and the resulting bowl is food and dishwasher safe.

For more information about the Empty Bowls project, contact Magda Gluszek at 532-6176.

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