No one’s crazy about the prospect of standing in line. Outside. In February. But Empty Bowls isn’t just any line. This line helps feed the community.
Saturday marks Pewabic’s 26th annual fundraiser to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, where buying a handcrafted bowl means performing a good deed with the added bonus of top-notch soup. It’s a bowl runneth over kinda thing.
“Almost every year the line streams out the door and into the parking lot, and shoppers are excited and chatty as they make their way in to purchase their bowls and enjoy some really great soup for a good cause,” says Stacy Kessel, Gleaners Director of Marketing and Communications. “Everyone really pulls together for this event – Pewabic, our soup donors, our volunteers, and hundreds of shoppers – and we’re honored to have such a long-standing and impactful partnership with a renowned community organization like Pewabic Pottery.”
Bowls range from $5-$40 and are made and donated by local students, Girl Scouts, Pewabic students and staff and other area artists. Each bowl comes with a complimentary serving of soup. Restaurants donating soup this year include Sindbad’s, Russell Street Deli, Zoup!, Beverly Hills Grill, LunchTime Detroit, and Touchpoint/St. John’s Hospital. All proceeds benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank, where every dollar provides three meals for someone in need.
“A $15 bowl provides 45 meals: that’s a huge impact. Even buying a kid’s bowl for $5 provides 15 meals,” says Alethea Davenport, education event coordinator at Pewabic. “Last year we made $13,000. That’s 39,000 meals.”
For Davenport, involved in Empty Bowls for about 15 years, the event reiterates a meaningful aspect of both nonprofits: caring for the community, with one Detroit nonprofit volunteering its time to help another. Even Pewabic employees working that day are volunteering their time. It’s also an opportunity to watch visitors return year after year.
“It’s a good vibes event where a little goes a long way,” says Davenport.