Aimed at combating hunger in the local community, the 24th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser proved successful once again this year, bringing in $46,828 for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield.
The amount is the second-highest total for the event and equates to 234,140 meals for those in need. Wittenberg’s Department of Art in conjunction with Catholic Charities hosted the Empty Bowls fundraiser from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at Wittenberg’s Central Dining Room (CDR). The event is virtually a 100 percent profit fundraiser with almost all of the materials, food and time donated for the event.
The 24-year total for the event is $497,001, which equates to 2,121,657 meals for those in need in Clark, Champaign and Logan counties. There were more than 100 event sponsors this year.
“As the event has grown, the list of volunteers has truly become too long to list,” said Scott Dooley, professor of art at Wittenberg. “There are so many people who help make this event a success each year - well over 80 volunteers helped the night of the event. Thanks to everyone for their support of this event.”
The event exemplifies Wittenberg’s service-based mission, which encourages all students to discern their vocations and to understand the meaningful connection between self-fulfillment and service to the world.
There were 1,027 bowls made throughout the year in preparation for this event, and most of them were created outside of classroom on Saturdays and not part of classroom assignments. Dooley’s Art 392 Ceramics II course this spring included a community-engaged learning component with Empty Bowls.
“The students in the course threw over 200 bowls for the event and volunteered on Thursday,” he said. "We also had community help. I am continually amazed by Wittenberg and the Springfield community – it is truly inspirational!”
As the only food bank in Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank distributes more than six million pounds of food annually, with more than four million pounds going directly to Clark County. Second Harvest Food Bank’s daily operation consists of sourcing and gathering food, sorting and cataloging the food, then warehousing the inventory to be distributed to agency members throughout a three-county service area.
Second Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and is responsible for safe handling of all food products adhering to state and federal guidelines, including providing member oversight to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.