from The Daily Mississippian by Maridane Hewes
Empty Bowls, an annual fundraiser for the Oxford Food Pantry, will be held today at the Oxford-University Methodist Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Participants pay $15 for a bowl of soup, bread, and a bottle of water, with all benefits going to the food pantry.
The soup is served in bowls crafted by the University of Mississippi’s Mud Daubers and local Girl Scouts and potters, such as Ron Dale and Jennifer Pace. About 1,000 bowls have been made said June Rosentreter, event organizer.
Participants choose their bowl as a reminder of the meal’s purpose, that someone’s bowl is always empty.
“It is such a great thing to do and be a part of,” said Barbara Smith, a volunteer for the organization for the past 8 years. “Many people have worked extremely hard to make this possible, and it is all being done for a good cause.”
Local restaurants including Bottletree Bakery, Emileigh’s Bakery, Honey Bee Bakery, Big Star and Aramark prepared the soups and breads.
The Empty Bowls fundraiser is an independently organized worldwide project. Its purpose is to provide help for organizations like the Pantry that refute hunger, while at the same time advocating awareness about local hunger issues.
This fundraiser came to Oxford as a suggestion of Ron Dale, a ceramic professor at Ole Miss. He knew one of his students, Rosentreter, volunteered for the Pantry and told her about the event. She has been in charge of the fundraiser since it began eight years ago.
“This fundraiser is a cooperative effort with people at the Pantry, the restaurants helping with the food, the community, and the many volunteers who have done so much to put this on,” Rosentreter said.
Rosentreter said typically about 800 people attend, but it had to be rescheduled because of the weather last week and now conflicts with a fundraiser being put on by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
The Pantry is Oxford’s local food bank, providing food for the homebound and needy. In 2010, they helped an estimated 8,000 people. It is run completely by volunteers. Empty Bowls is its only fundraiser and raised $15,000 last year.
There will be reserved parking in the church’s parking lot, located at Tyler Avenue and 10th Street.