Campus unites against hunger

Tenth annual Empty Bowls benefits Schoolcraft Food Panty

By Casey Samyn and Lauren Lukens
Campus Life Editor and Editor-in-Chief

Nathan Gartner

Photo by Casey Samyn

Over 29 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children, according to feedamerica.org. Schoolcraft’s ceramic and culinary programs, along with students, faculty, staff and the community, are teaming up to decrease this statistic at the tenth annual Empty Bowl fundraiser on Wednesday, Dec. 10 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Wilson Room of the VisTaTech Center.

There are approximately 200 bowls available for purchase at the Empty Bowl luncheon created by ceramic students, as well as bread donated by culinary students and a hardy vegetable soup provided by Food Services chefs. One can purchase soup for a $5 donation, and bowls are priced accordingly.

“I think the Schoolcraft community really comes together every year. We have done this for over ten years, and it has been a great opportunity for different departments to really get involved,” said Todd Stowell, Director of Student Activities. “I like the collaboration aspect of it”

Approximately 10 years ago, Schoolcraft held its first Empty Bowl fundraiser, an adaptation of an existing program where soup and bread is served in handmade bowls. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to a charity of choice related to banishing hunger.

Casey Samyn“A lot of students will donate food throughout the year, but sometimes we run low on certain items,” said Stowell.

This year, the funds raised will benefit the Schoolcraft Food Pantry. Each year, Schoolcraft has raised approximately 1,500 dollars, and past donations have included St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen and Crossroads Church.

Six ceramics instructors are participating in the Empty Bowls, including Professor John Beckman, contributing 16 bowls, making about six at a time. Each set of six was made over a period of nine days; three days to make the bowls, three to dry and three to fire. Beckman said it takes him around five minutes or less to throw the bowls on the wheel.

“John Murphy is even faster though, he takes three to four minutes, and he uses porcelain,” said Beckman. “Porcelain is harder to throw with, it’s basically like throwing cream cheese—it’s really soft. If you are a beginner, it will take you two to three weeks to make something decent with porcelain.”

Murphy has both stoneware and porcelain works for sale in this year’s fundraiser.

Ceramics students are also encouraged to donate their work to the cause.

Hugh Quach, Schoolcraft ceramics student, he said he made four or five bowls this semester, and will donate one or two of them. He will also donate a few cups he made in class.

“I try to make them useable,” said Quach.

This is Quach’s second year participating in Empty Bowls, and he uses the chattering technique, which is where a flexible metal tool jumps across the surface of pottery while it is leather-hard. It creates a patterned depression around the bowl. This technique does not take long, but Quach spends one to two weeks completely trimming each bowl.

Students, faculty and staff work all semester to make Empty Bowls a success. The community is welcome to stop by, look at bowls for sale, eat some soup and enjoy themselves alone or with family or friends.

For more information, call the Student Activities Office at 734-462-4422.

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