BU hosts fifth annual Empty Bowls Banquet April 1

For immediate release: March 23, 2007

BLOOMSBURG — The fifth annual Empty Bowls banquet to benefit the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard will be held Sunday, April 1, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Kehr Union, Ballroom. The event will feature entertainment, a children’s activities corner, home-baked goods and a silent auction. New this year will be a table where patrons can
decorate a bowl for next year’s banquet.

Local artists, both professional and student, have handcrafted bowls to be filled with soups and chowders donated by local restaurants and other culinary experts from the region. The cost is $12 for adults and $6 for students.

Afterward, diners may keep the handcrafted bowls as a reminder that others sometimes have just an empty bowl at mealtimes. Artists donate their services, as do the makers of the chowders and soups and the volunteers who staff the event. All money raised at the Empty Bowls banquet is used to help people who come to the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard, which is open in the former Winona Fire Hall on Center Street on Tuesday afternoons and Sunday mornings.

“Achieving the fifth annual Empty Bowls banquet lets us know it’s here to stay. It supports the community and has become a cornerstone in our civic engagement program,” said Jean Downing, director of BU’s SOLVE Office. “It is extremely gratifying to raise money that will benefit clients of the food cupboard on so many levels.”

Proceeds from this year’s event benefit not only food cupboard clients but local agricultural businesses as well, because the banquet is one of the major sources of the funds used to buy fresh produce. “Since the Empty Bowls banquet has become an integral part of our budget, it ensures we can provide clients with nutritional food on top of what is already donated,” said Martha Sheehe, coordinator of the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard.

“This year, our initiative is to support local farmers by buying our produce directly from them. We believe it’s important to support the local economy and those efforts are made possible by the citizens who come to Empty Bowls,” she said.

The keepsake bowls have been provided in previous years by local artists including Dave and Deb Stabley, Sandy Lentz, Sara Baker, Doug Hopkins, Karl Beamer, Cindy Collins, Darryl Heddings, Jeff Krankoskie, Michael Perakovich and Dr. Mark Jones, as well as by students from the university and local school districts.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.