Empty Bowls bring Bucknell together

Published in FSD Update

In partnership with various campus departments, the dining services team at Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pa., recently facilitated an event on campus named Empty Bowls 2014: A focus on International Women’s Day. With a mission to fight hunger internationally, Empty Bowls events invite guests to enjoy a meal of soup and bread out of bowls handcrafted by local artisans. In exchange for a monetary donation to the organization, guests can keep the artisan bowl as a reminder of world hunger.

For the Bucknell event, “the students work all year creating the bowls by hand and on the pottery wheels that we have here in the Bucknell Craft Center,” explains Gretchen Heuges, Craft Center coordinator. “Each year our goal is to make 300 bowls for the banquet. Students, faculty and staff contribute to the bowl-making and glazing process. This year we had a team of students take on the project by organizing bowl-making and glazing sessions that were then offered to the campus community.”

Empty Bowls is an annual event at Bucknell for students and faculty as well as the Lewisburg community, and dining services and local restaurants provide multiple soup options for the lunch and dinner seatings. “Over last eight years, Parkhurst Dining was asked to oversee food safety and act as facilitator with local restaurants,” explains John Cummins, general manager of resident dining at Bucknell with Parkhurst. Previously, “the soup arrived from local restaurants, but some would arrive at night, some warm, some tepid, some raw, [so it was a] food safety issue. [We’re] getting to the point where the soups are brought cold and properly chilled. Dining services provides two of the soups, and the bread is donated by an outside organization. It’s a great community event, and many students take part in it,” he says. Proceeds from the Bucknell event benefit the Community Harvest hot meal program in Milton, Pa.

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