Empty Bowls Meal to Benefit Food Pantries

The second annual Empty Bowls community dinner to benefit Talbot County food pantries will be held on Sunday, February 21, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Easton.

“Bringing Empty Bowls to Talbot County is an opportunity for those of us who are fortunate enough to eat without worry to reach out to our neighbors for whom a meal may be a luxury,” says Empty Bowls committee member Anna Harding.  “By joining us for a community meal, you will help fill the shelves at local food pantries.”

Tickets for the Empty Bowls meal are $20. Diners will receive a meal of homemade soup, bread and dessert. Harding continues, “In exchange for your payment, you will take home the bowl in which your soup is served. Our hope is that the bowl will remind you that someone else’s bowl is always empty and that you will be moved to continue to support those organizations who are working every day to feed those in need in throughout Talbot County.”

Local potters who have pledged handmade bowls are Paul Aspell, Forrest Bogan, Martha Bogan, Eileen Hebert, Ann Krestensen and Ken Sadler. Bowls are also being made and donated by local school students.

The Clay Bakers in Easton is supporting Empty Bowls by sponsoring a special bowl decorating event through February 7. For a donation as low as $12, Clay Bakers’ customers can choose from a selection of bowls, which they paint in their own style. Clay Bakers will donate the decorated bowl and $5 of the fee to Talbot County Empty Bowls. The Clay Bakers is located at 1 S. Washington Street in Easton. For more information, call 410- 770-9091.

“Every penny we raise will be donated to local food pantries, thanks to the generosity of the people who are helping us this year,” says Harding. The group has procured donations of soup and home baked cookies from members of the community. Panera Bread is donating bread for the meal.

The Talbot County Empty Bowls event is modeled after the first fundraiser, which was the brainchild of John Hartom, a North Carolina high school art teacher. In 1990, Hartom challenged his art students to make enough ceramic bowls to host a meal for the school faculty. During the meal, Hartom and his wife, Lisa Blackburn, also an art educator, reminded the group that, even though they were not hungry because they had just eaten, many in the community still had empty bowls. The guests were invited to keep their soup bowls as a reminder of those less fortunate. This event evolved into the non-profit organization Empty Bowls, which now raises millions of dollars for hunger-related causes around the world.

The Empty Bowls meal and fundraiser will be held on Sunday, February 21, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church Easton (on the westbound lane of Rt. 50, west of the Maryland State Police barrack).  In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held on Sunday, February 28.

Advance reservations are required. To purchase tickets, mail a check for $20 per person to the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, 102 E. Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601. Make checks payable to Mid-Shore/Empty Bowls. Please include your phone number. Tickets can be purchased and donations can be made online at www.mscf.org.