Offers of handmade bowls are pouring into Our Place Drop-in Center from area potters as the foodshelf and daytime shelter makes plans for its twelfth annual benefit Empty Bowl soup supper and auctions Sunday, November 1, at Alyson's Orchard in Walpole, NH.
Among those who have already committed bowls to the event are Malcolm Wright of Turnpike Pottery in Marlboro, Carla Magbie of Magbie Pottery in Brattleboro, Virginia Wyoming of Westminster, Karen Utiger of Okkonen Pottery of Peru, Maya Zelkin of Shrewsbury, and Susan Dunning of Ludlow.
The bowls are a highlight of the event, as each attendee selects one to take home as a reminder of those who struggle to put food on the family table.
"Gather and Share" is the theme of this year's event, which begins at 4:30 p.m. with an auction preview and social hour. Proceeds go towards supporting the food programs of Our Place, which include a food shelf, breakfast and lunch four days a week, and nutrition education.
"We're seeing an 18 percent increase in the number of people we serve," said OP Director Susan Shea. "And the toughest time of the year is just beginning."
The oldest such event in the area, the Our Place Empty Bowl has been a major fundraiser for the center. In addition to potters from all over the state, restaurants and local chefs donate soups and other food items. Also, local businesses and individuals donate items and services for both silent and live auctions.
Fiddler Jill Newton and the Red Fox Band will be playing traditional fiddle tunes for the event. Bob Sprague is auctioneer.
The Empty Bowl is part of an international effort that began in 1990 to raise money for food programs. What started as a local effort in a Michigan high school has grown into a worldwide program that has raised more than a million dollars to help fight hunger. The mission of Our Place is to connect people to food and each other.
Tickets for the Empty Bowl are $30 and will be available at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Real to Reel Video in Walpole or by calling Our Place at 463-2217.