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Handmade bowls hold an important message
Luncheon to raise hunger awareness
Brenau student Eboni Evans works on a bowl for the Empty Bowls auction that will benefit the North Georgia Food Banks. - photo by Tom Reed

Local students have been using their creativity for good, making pottery bowls that will be donated to the second annual Empty Bowls Luncheon.

The luncheon is a localization of a national fundraiser, which combines pottery and philanthropy to raise awareness of hunger and raise funds for food banks.

The luncheon is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 16. at First Baptist Church in Gainesville at a cost of $25 per person.

All proceeds will benefit the Georgia Mountain Food Bank Fund at the North Georgia Community Foundation.

"Local restaurants donate the food and the art students and potters make the bowls," said Kay Blackstock, project coordinator for the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. "People come and have lunch with us and then when they get ready to leave, they pick a bowl to take with them as a reminder of empty bowls in our community."

Blackstock said she feels the empty bowl fundraiser is especially important considering the state of the economy.

"In this day in time, the number of empty bowls in our community are growing. I can't think of anything more appropriate for us to be doing right now than this project," Blackstock said.

Vanessa Grubbs, the gallery director at Brenau University, held an event last week called the "Throw-a-thon" for students to make bowls for the luncheon.

She said around 40 students participated, and the majority were not art students, but people looking for a fun way to help the community.

"They were very enthusiastic about the cause and very enthusiastic about doing something creative," Grubbs said.

Blackstock said though there is no concrete goal for the event, she is hoping to see between 300 and 400 people.

"We're just asking people to think about what they can give to help us get this going," Blackstock said.

While times are tough for everyone, Blackstock said it's especially hard for those trying to feed the hungry.

"With food prices and gasoline prices going out the ceiling, it's hard for all of us to make ends meet going to the grocery store, but can you imagine what it's costing the people who are trying to buy food and get food to folks in need? It's a really difficult time for them because they see the number of people in need increasing," Blackstock said.

Those interested in the luncheon can RSVP by Sunday to Kay Blackstock at 770-535-7880 ext. 221.