In keeping with the Christian Lenten season tradition of alms-giving, this year’s Empty Bowls Soup Supper took place Saturday evening, March 18, 2017, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. This is the fourth year that the Ancilla Domini Sisters and ministries have united to invite the community in for a supper to benefit The Food Bank of Northern Indiana, which works to eradicate hunger and food insecurity in our region. Close to 200 people bought $15.00 tickets, which entitled each one to enjoy a meal of soup, home-made by the Associate Community of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, and bread. Each person chose a handcrafted bowl to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world, and the profound impact that a single effort can make to end food insecurity in our community and around the globe.
This year’s efforts were more fruitful than ever before. $2,823 was raised for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. That brings the four year total to $9,274! The monies raised at the Empty Bowls event are donated to FBNI to feed the hungry, to increase awareness of the effects of hunger, and to lead programs designed to alleviate hunger through member food pantries. In Marshall and Starke counties there are food pantries in Knox, Plymouth, Bremen, Bourbon, Argos and Culver, as well as mobile food pantries, that will benefit from these funds. Per the Food Bank’s statistics, one dollar can provide up to eight meals for those in need, and ninety-four cents of every dollar donated goes back into the communities served. Just think, these four years of Empty Bowls Soup Suppers have provided over 74,000 meals in our own neighborhoods!
The Empty Bowls Supper had a new artistic flair this year--clay artisans from throughout Indiana and Western Michigan made the bowls that were presented to each ticketholder. Bowls were hand-built or thrown, in each artist’s signature style, using their own techniques. And three of the artists—Sandra Henderson from LaPorte, Elizabeth Wamsley from Syracuse, and Louise Amundson from Knox--had separate displays of their other clay artworks available for sale at the supper, including clay sculptures, mugs, and frogs of every size; flowerpots and yard totems, vases, jewelry and tureens. Commissions from those sales also benefitted the Food Bank. Other talented clay artists who made bowls were: Vickie Cook, Pike Evans, Jenifer George, Fred Herczeg, Becki Moffett-Moore, and Michael Thoren.
This year’s Empty Bowls Supper featured live entertainment, too. Cliff Berger started the evening’s dinner music with favorite piano renditions. Later, Renee Green, a Plymouth High School Junior, provided serene violin solos to close out the evening. The evening truly had an upscale ambiance, even if the meal was a simple one!
Empty Bowls is an international effort over 25 years old, with an appropriate slogan, “Working Together – Everyone Eats.” MoonTree Studios joined the cause in 2014, and has been joined by the other ministries in Donaldson. But it’s important to remember, the Empty Bowls Soup Supper at The Center at Donaldson is only one way to help. In addition, individuals, workplaces, and other organizations can conduct drives for food and funds any time of year.
MoonTree Studios would like to thank everyone involved for the enormous part each played in making the fourth annual Empty Bowls Soup Supper a big success. From the artists who made the bowls, to the energetic Associates of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ who made and served the wonderful soups. From the ministry center co-workers who cleaned and set-up the room, delivered bowls, heated and delivered the meal, to Cliff and Renee who provided dinner music. And especially to all of the friends, neighbors and community members who bought tickets and attended the evening’s festivities. It was obvious that all united around a worthy cause—helping to put an end to hunger and food insecurity right here at home. We are most grateful for everyone’s help and participation. It takes a community; without all of us, such a wonderful evening wouldn’t have happened! Sincere thanks for making time in your schedule to make a difference--your help is needed and appreciated now more than ever.
Please put our Empty Bowls Soup Supper on your 2018 calendar. It will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. We wish you blessings and plenty in the coming year.