Empty Bowls helps Bay Area Rescue Mission

Three Seasons hosts annual fundraiser, aims to curb hunger

By Xavier Johnson, Staff Writer

The annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will provide all-you-can-eat-soup  while raising awareness on hunger issues from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Three Seasons Restaurant.

The fundraiser is organized by the ceramics department with the help of the culinary arts department who will provide unlimited soup refills after each bowl purchase.

Contra Costa College ceramics instructor Mary Law said all proceeds after expenses will go to the Bay Area Rescue Mission, an organization providing emergency food and shelter for the homeless members in the Richmond community.

Bowls will be on sale on the lawn outside of the Liberal Arts Building and will be $10 for non-students and $5 for CCC students.

There are more than 450 bowls planned to be on sale.

“We let them keep the bowls as a reminder of all those with empty bowls around the world,” Law said.

After receiving the bowls, which range in sizes and design, culinary students will be serving a variety of soups that aim to match the diversity of the student’s art.

The purchase of a bowl will automatically enter students into the raffle where four bowls will be offered as prizes.

She said students are also able to pre-purchase tickets for a bowl before Oct. 18 at the Three Seasons Restaurant.

Law said Empty Bowls began in Michigan about 25 years ago when the two founders, Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom, wanted to give art students a way to make a personal difference in the fight against hunger. 

Ceramics major Larry Jones said, “(Volunteer) potters wanted to help with hunger issues. Potters used their skill to create bowls. They worked with a local soup kitchen to provide food for the bowls. All of the funds would go to a local soup kitchen. The proceeds for the fundraiser has to go to some kind of food organization.”

Jones said the goal of Empty Bowls is to raise as much money as possible to help with undernourished members of the community.

He said raising awareness about how widespread poverty and hunger issues are is another important goal of the charity event. 

Ceramics student Allen Perolf said Empty Bowls is a long-standing fundraiser held all around the world by potters, schools and community organizations.

Law said the majority of proceeds will be going to the Bay Area Rescue Mission but the cost to make the soup makes up the difference.

Perolf said that the clay used to make the bowls was donated to the art department by East Bay Clay.

Perolf said the time put into making the bowls is voluntary.

The Hilltop Ukulele Lovers Academy (HULA) will be providing live entertainment at the fundraiser again this year.

Perennial favorites, HULA’s music adds to the festive atmosphere that makes the event successful.

Law said this year’s Empty Bowls Fundraiser will take place on World Food Day.

Established in 1979, World Food Day has been celebrated by millions of people in almost every developed nation across the globe, she said.

It celebrates the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Oct. 16, 1945.

Law said it is a fitting setting for a fundraiser dedicated to helping the widespread issue of hunger that has occurred for the fifth year at CCC.