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Empty bowls and full hearts

A crownd of people in line for food at empty bowls fundraiser Crowds filled the dining hall as people are served bread and soup during the Empty Bowls event Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Money raised will be split between Manna Mart, the food pantry at HOTEL INC, and the Life Care Ministry run by the University Church of Christ.
Photo by: (Miranda Pederson/photo@bgdailynews.com)
By LAUREL WILSON lwilson@bgdailynews.com

Cynthia Baker was excited to find the 20 bowls she made in her art class at South Warren High School were among hundreds of others by local artists at the third annual Empty Bowls fundraiser Wednesday at Knights of Columbus Hall.

It s really cool to walk in and see that s your bowl, the 17-year-old Baker said. It s really inspiring to see something that we ve made be such a contribution.

Hundreds of guests at the event, which raises money for local food pantries, picked one of 750 bowls and ate meals of soup and bread donated by restaurants. They took home the bowl as a reminder that people face hunger daily.

Empty Bowls outgrew its original location at St. James United Methodist Church, where event organizer Garry Taylor is a member. The church ran out of space last year for both the bowls and guests, so it was moved to Knights of Columbus Hall this year.

bowl designed by artist It s really exciting, Taylor said. When I did the first one, it was my hope that this would become a big annual event. I think we re off to a good start.

About $7,200 was raised Wednesday, and the money will be split between Manna Mart, the food pantry at HOTEL INC, and the Life Care Ministry run by University Church of Christ.

Nearly a quarter of the bowls were made by students of Casey Bates, an art teacher at South Warren. She heard about Empty Bowls from Taylor and has encouraged students to make bowls for the event all three years.

I just thought it was really cool, Bates said. It s just strictly artists having a way to give back to the local community. I just think it s awesome because we know exactly where (the money) goes, and we know it s feeding people in Bowling Green.

Among the event s volunteers were culinary arts students from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, who made vegetable beef stew, potato soup and cornbread for the guests to eat.

You get to use your skills to help other people, SKYCTC student John Sackett said. It s a win-win thing.

people serving food at empty bowls fundraiser Edwards Fields of Frankfort, a volunteer through Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College where he works, serves soup during the Empty Bowls event Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015, at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Money raised will be split between Manna Mart, the food pantry at HOTEL INC, and the Life Care Ministry run by the University Church of Christ. Photo by: (Miranda Pederson/photo@bgdailynews.com)

Empty Bowls is not only an opportunity for culinary students to serve their community, but it gives them experience feeding a large group of people, according to Jason Lindsey, executive chef and instructor at the culinary arts program.

This will help them understand that there s a need to help everyone, not just to make a dollar, he said. You re actually serving the leg you stand on. The community ... is what you stand on. It gives those eye opening moments.

Shari Strode of Bowling Green attended Empty Bowls for the second year in a row.

It s just a really unique fundraiser for a really good cause, she said. The symbolism of the empty bowl is a good touch. It makes it meaningful.