Student-Led Empty Bowls Fundraiser Raises $1.3k for York County Locker Project
Empty Bowls fundraisers have been taking place around the world for many years as a way for artists to give back to their communities. The concept is simple: participants purchase tickets, and upon arrival, select a handcrafted bowl that they like. They then eat soup out of their bowl throughout the evening and go home with the empty bowl – a symbolic reminder of food insecurity throughout the world.
Inspired by an Empty Bowls event that she attended years ago, undergraduate student Olivia Scott ’20 wanted to see one come to life here on campus at UNE. The sold-out event came to fruition on Friday, April 26, 2019, in the Danielle Ripich Commons Building on the Biddeford Campus.
This semester, Scott is a teaching assistant for the ceramics throwing class taught by Professor Charles Thompson, M.F.A., founder of UNE’s Department of Art. Thinking about all of the bowls that the class would create made her realize that it would be the perfect time to bring an Empty Bowls fundraiser to campus. Scott and Thompson discussed the possibility and immediately began organizing.
“All of us in the ceramics classes have worked very hard to create these bowls and see this event come to life. This community has given us so much, and it is time we give back,” commented Olivia.
Olivia herself made about thirty bowls to donate to the event. Students in two other ceramics classes donated bowls as well. In total, the event had 86 bowls. Other art professors also participated by contributing artwork to be sold in a silent auction and inviting their students to do the same.
Tickets for the event were sold in advance and at the door the evening of. Through ticket sales and the silent auction, a total of $1,313 was raised, which will be donated to the York County Locker Project. The Locker Project is a Maine-wide organization that provides healthy food for food-insecure students in schools. They also create meals and supplies for students to take home over weekends and school vacations, aiding in food insecurity across the state.
“You feel good knowing that the contribution that you made is going to help young people in need in York County,” said Olivia Scott.