April 3, 2024
On Campus

2.3+ Million Meals and Counting

Wittenberg University Set to Host 29th Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser

Preparing to conquer hunger in the community once again, Wittenberg is excited to announce the date of its annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, April 4, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Center Dining Room (CDR) of the Benham-Pence Student Center.

A national fundraising campaign aimed at combating food insecurity in local communities, Wittenberg has been running its version of Empty Bowls for 29 years with great success, raising more than $625,000 (which equates to 3,129,550 meals) for the Second Harvest Food Bank. 

Wittenberg’s Department of Art in conjunction with Second Harvest Food Bank hosts the Empty Bowls fundraiser with all proceeds supporting the mission of Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield. Empty Bowls 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.

In 2019, Wittenberg's Empty Bowls event set a record by raising $50,187 for Second Harvest to help address food insecurity in Springfield and Clark County. Last year, after returning to an in-person format, the event brought in more than $41,000.

“This is truly a community event that brings many people from Springfield to campus and is a major fundraising event for the Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Scott Dooley, chair and professor of art, who has helped to coordinate the annual event since its inception. “Come join us and help fight food insecurity. Please share this information with any community groups, churches, or other area organizations who might be interested in spreading the word and attending or sponsoring the event. I am proud to say that we have been able to grow this project through the tough economic climate of the last decade.”

Wittenberg ceramic students, staff, faculty, and community members throw, glaze, and fire approximately 1,000 bowls with 90 percent of these being made on Empty Bowls Throwing Days, held on Saturday/Sunday afternoons. 

The Second Harvest Food Bank lines up sponsors to donate soup and bread, including Parkhurst Dining and several other community members and restaurants. Patrons then choose a bowl to purchase at $20 each and enjoy a soup dinner and conversation with fellow community members. Participants then take the bowl home with them as a reminder of the many people who are hungry in the community.

“Our goal for the 2024 event is to raise over $50,000,” Dooley added. “What a way to celebrate Empty Bowls at Wittenberg. We have sold out of bowls in the past, so if you want the best selection and the assurance that you will get a bowl, plan to come early. If we sell out of bowls again this year, we will still offer dinner to patrons at a reduced cost.”

Sarah Baker, class of 2019 from Springfield, Ohio, designed this year’s event T-shirts, which will be available for purchase.

Every dollar raised provides five meals to hungry families in the community. The purchase of one bowl will provide 100 meals.

As the only food bank in Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, Second Harvest 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, and 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.

For information or to become a sponsor of this year’s Empty Bowls event, please contact either Dooley at sdooley@wittenberg.edu or Allie Godfrey, Marketing and Events Associate, Second Harvest Food Bank, at (937) 325-8715 ext. 102 or agodfrey@theshfb.org. Sponsorships begin at the $100 level and, depending on the level of sponsorship, include several bowls and mention in event signage. 

About Second Harvest
Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, a member of Feeding America, serves the tri-county community by sourcing, collecting, storing and distributing over six million pounds of food to 65 non-profit member agencies who feed the hungry directly.  Second Harvest is focused on bringing healthy, nutritious food to those in our communities struggling with hunger through innovative programs such as senior food initiatives and mobile pantry distributions.

Wittenberg’s Department of Art
The Department of Art delivers comprehensive art training within a liberal arts tradition, preparing students for success in today's competitive art environment. As an art major or an art minor, you will learn how to think both visually and critically.
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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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