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Student Artwork to Help the Hungry at Empty Bowls

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Nov. 4, 2009) -The annual Empty Bowls Supper, a fundraiser for the Interfaith Food Shelf, will be held in SUNY Plattsburgh's Algonquin Dining Hall on Rugar Street, Saturday, Nov. 7, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.The cost of the supper is $8 for students and $10 for the general public. The admittance price includes soup, bread and refreshments provided by Chartwells, as well as a handmade ceramic bowl crafted by a student.

SUNY Plattsburgh students in Associate Professor Berry Matthew's advanced ceramics class are making and donating the majority of the bowls. According to Matthews, creating them provides students with several benefits.

"Making multiples of pieces increases their skill in ceramics," said Matthews. "And they enjoy participating in an event that gives back to their community."

"I like the Empty Bowls event because we are able to use our art to help out the community," said Marie Purdy, a ceramics student who participated in the past. "It would be great if every last bowl was taken up this year. It would really show how much the community cared about those who are struggling in the area."

Students from fifth-grade classes at Momot and Oak Street schools will also contribute bowls as part of their "Learn and Serve America" program, which allows students to help the community through the application of skills learned in the classroom.

According to Matthews, who started hosting the local event 12 years ago, the goal of Empty Bowls is to bring awareness to the issue of hunger, not only in the world, but in the local community. It provides an opportunity for students and residents of Clinton County to unite in an effort to eliminate hunger locally.

Empty Bowls is a nationwide project that was developed by high school art teacher John Hartom of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., in 1990. Today, such events are sponsored in almost every state by schools ranging from elementary to college level as well as civic organizations and individuals.

"Each time people look at their bowl, I hope they will remember all of the hungry people in the world - those with empty bowls - and be generous," said Matthews.

While the event starts at 5:30 p.m., Matthews said there was no need to line up early. She and her students put out the bowls at random, 10 at a time, to ensure that the first bowl is as good as the last.

For more information, contact Matthews at [email protected].

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