"Empty Bowls" founders to be in Syracuse for April fundraiser

John Hartom and his wife Lisa Blackburn, founders of the Empty Bowls Project, will be in Syracuse April 17 and 18, 2009 at events to benefit the Interreligious Food Consortium. The two art teachers originated the now popular empty bowls concept in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan when their art students were asked to participate in a food drive. The students raised money by supplying a meal of soup and bread for school faculty, served in

student-made ceramic bowls. This first ever Empty Bowls event, held in 1990, has evolved into a highly popular program model for fundraising to support hunger programs across the country.

The public is invited to meet John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn at a reception and special preview to be held, April 17, at 6 p.m. at the Community Folk Art Center at 805 East Genesee St. The public will also be able to get a sneak peek at the 1,000 bowls and silent auction items on

display at the reception prior to the Empty Bowls event the following day.

The Syracuse Empty Bowls Show and Sale will be held Saturday, April 18 at May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society, 3800 East Genesee St., DeWitt. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. One thousand bowls of original design will be on display and available to the public.

Participants can acquire a ceramic bowl for a $10 donation and fill it with a delicious helping of soup and bread provided by Syracuse University Catering and P & C Foods.

"Empty Bowls" is a fundraiser for the Interreligious Food Consortium in collaboration with ceramic students from Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts and Onondaga Community College.

Since 1982, the Interreligious Food Consortium has worked to relieve hunger in the greater Syracuse area. Today, IFC food pantries serve a growing number of rural and suburban neighbors, the elderly, and the working poor.

IFC's 70 food pantries and meal programs are part of a network that provides more than 200,000 meals per month in Onondaga County. Churches, synagogues, individuals, and businesses donate food and money regularly to the IFC.

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