Handmade ceramic bowls from the 2018 Empty Bowls event

17th-annual Empty Bowls event continues amidst pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed many traditional events at the University of Tennessee at Martin, the 17th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, co-hosted by UT Martin and We Care Ministries, Inc. to help fight food insecurity in the Martin community, will continue its cause through online bowl sales during the week of Nov. 15-20.

Empty Bowls will have approximately 1,200 ceramic bowls available for a donation at martinemptybowls.com to support the We Care Ministries Inc. food bank. Online sales will begin at noon on Nov. 15 where patrons can select a bowl design and color. Donors will receive a soup bowl for $15 or a large serving bowl for a $20 donation to We Care.

Curbside pickup for the bowls will be from noon – 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Fine Arts Building on Mt. Pelia Road.

“Martin Empty Bowls is going to outsmart this pandemic,” David McBeth, UT Martin professor of fine arts, said. “We will have roughly 1,200 beautiful, well-crafted bowls. I hope, in fact – trust, that the community will respond to the online iteration of Empty Bowls in a robust way. I would love to have to make more bowls because we run out. I know that the good folks at We Care are thankful that the event is going on in spite of COVID.”

The Martin Empty Bowls event began with McBeth in 2003 as a part of a larger grassroots movement called Empty Bowls Project to help fight world hunger. Roughly 15% of people in Weakley County experience food insecurity, but through Empty Bowls, We Care Ministries, Inc. is able to provide meals to anyone in need.

“I hope, in spite of the pandemic, that Empty Bowls can bring the community together,” McBeth said. “It’s a joy and an honor to be able to do what I do.”

Last year, the community raised more than $13,000 for We Care Ministries, Inc. and sold more than 800 bowls.

For more information about the 2020 Empty Bowls event, visit martinemptybowls.com or contact McBeth at 731-881-7416.


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