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Clay Conference bowls donated to ‘Empty Bowl’s luncheon

Empty Bowls is a grassroots effort to raise money and awareness in hopes of ending hunger and food insecurity and to help bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist.

Dr. Marian Parker, Troy University, used three words, “simple, groovy and cool” to describe the upcoming Empty Bowls Luncheon on May 6 in Troy.

“Simple” referred to the practicality of the hunger awareness event. “Groovy’ is the way she described the concept and “cool” is the label she placed on the event.

“Empty Bowls started about 12 years ago in North Carolina as a way to get students involved in their community,’ Parker said. “The idea was to host a luncheon and serve soup in handmade bowls along with bread and water to call attention to hunger around the world.

“Luncheon tickets would be sold to raise funds and those who bought tickets could take the homemade bowls home. It was a unique idea and a simple one because everything was to be donated so that every penny from ticket sales would go to help supply local food banks.”

Larry Percy, art instructor at Troy University, learned about Empty Bowls through the annual Alabama Clay Conference. At each conference, participants are invited to donate a handmade bowl to Empty Bowls. The bowls are made available to Empty Bowls sponsors in Tuscaloosa and Montgomery.

The 2010 Alabama Clay Conference was held at Troy University in February. The local Salvation Army agreed to host an Empty Bowls Luncheon in the spring.

“Eighty handmade bowls from the 2010 Alabama Clay Conference at Troy University were donated to the local Empty Bowls luncheon and they are beautiful bowls,” Parker said. “You see one and think, ‘This is the one I want’ but you won’t really know which one until you see them all.”

Troy University students and senior adults at the Colley Senior Complex also made bowls for the luncheon, bringing the total number of bowls to 120.

“We can only sell as many tickets as we have bowls so we’ll have 120 tickets for sale,” Parker said. “But, several of the Troy University football players on the 2009 Sunbelt Conference Championship team made bowls that will be auctioned during the luncheon. Levi Brown, Bear Woods, Boris Lee, Cornelius Williams and Jeremy Hawkins all have made and signed bowls. Any Trojan fan would be happy to have any one of them.”

The Empty Bowls Luncheon will be hosted by the Pike County Salvation Army from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 6 at Bush Memorial Baptist Church on George Wallace Drive in Troy.

Tickets are $20 and are available at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop and Service Center on South Brundidge Street in Troy and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce on Highway 231 south of Troy and from Dr. Marian Parker at Troy University.

The luncheon is made possible through donations by Mr. Ho’s, Quiznos, Santa Fe, Troy Regional Medical Center and Charles Henderson High School Culinary Arts class and with the support of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce.

All funds raised from the sale of tickets and donations will be used to provide food for the hungry in Pike County.