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Service Learning Prepares for 13th annual Empty Bowls Benefit Dinner at Warren Wilson College

by Mariah Parker, Multimedia Editor

On Wednesday, November 30, the Empty Bowls benefit dinner will return to Upper Fellowship Hall for an evening of local soup and serious reflection.

Currently in its 13th year, Empty Bowls is a national event aimed at spreading awareness of hunger and food insecurity.

The event will feature a guest speaker, local musical entertainment, and dinner of soup and bread donated by local restaurants, including Sunny Point Cafe, Early Girl Eatery, West End Bakery, and our own Cowpie Cafe. In addition, Leah Leitson’s ceramics class will donate handmade bowls for guests to take home “as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.”

“It’s a really cool community gathering,” said first-year Dylan Bahoosh, a member of the Service Learning crew. “It’s intimate, and the soups are local and tasty.”

Each year, the event proceeds are donated to a local food agency. This year, all proceeds will go to the Lord’s Acre community garden in Fairview, North Carolina, which provides produce for the Fairview Food Bank, welcome tables in local churches, and weekly meals that are open to the whole community.

“We’ve been working with [the Lord’s Acre] as a community partner for a while and saw their need for the additional funds,” said sophomore and Empty Bowls public representative Nora White. “Their work is really dynamic in terms of how it addresses food security; not only do they grow food for food banks and welcome tables, they also… spread knowledge of how people can feed themselves and be better stewards of the earth.”

Speaking at this year’s event is Warren Wilson alumnus and City Council member Gordon Smith. Smith has been a key organizer for the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, which explores the connection between food insecurity and other issues such as homelessness and education.

“In the winter months it can be hard to feel like you can make change,” said White. “But [Empty Bowls] is all about warmth and sharing. It can really inspire.”

Tickets are on sale now at the Service Learning Office for $15/students and $20/faculty and staff. SLO crew members will be also be tabling in Gladfelter through November 30. For more information, call 828-771-3065 or e-mail nwhite@warren-wilson.edu. Limited seats are available, so snag your tickets soon.

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