TRAVERSE CITY -- Local artisans have answered the call to contribute their work and help raise hunger awareness within the Grand Traverse region.
Coordinators of the Fresh Food Partnership's annual Empty Bowls fundraiser asked bowl makers of all kinds to give to the event that invites community members to enjoy a simple meal of bread and soup, before taking home a handmade bowl as a reminder of all of the empty bowls in the world.
"This year we have really been enthusiastically supported by the artists who have put a lot of time and money into their contributions," said Dianne Navarro, Fresh Food Partnership program coordinator.
Funds raised at the eighth annual Empty Bowls event, to be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday at the Hagerty Center, will be used by the Fresh Food Partnership to buy and distribute locally grown fruits and vegetables from area farmers to local food pantries.
Larry Skendzel, of the Northwest Michigan Woodturners group, said he found out about the event through a chance meeting with a local potter and was excited to find that the group of hobbyists and professionals could contribute a group of one-of-a-kind bowls to the event.
"They are mostly made from local woods -- oak, maple, elm and cherry," said Skendzel, noting that most also come from fallen trees.
Maura Ennenga, who coordinated gathering the bowls, says this year's collection is diverse in color, shape, size and texture.
Elk Rapids potter Tom Priest will give a group of rice bowls, glazed using local clay and cherry ash.
"All of my bowls are fired once using waste cooking oil to power my kiln," said Priest, an annual contributor.
From woodturners and potters, youth groups and college students, more than 600 bowls have been collected for the event that is part of the national Empty Bowls program, created in 1990 by a Bloomfield Hills artist and teacher, to give artists a way to make a difference in their community.
Area restaurants, bakeries and beverage producers will donate soups, breads and beverages and volunteer musicians will entertain.
Tickets for Empty Bowls are $15 and are available at Oryana Natural Foods Market, ArtCenter Traverse City, Land Information Access Association or at the door.