(Posted April 4, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Two local artists are donating 100 hand-made bowls and more than 15 Juniata students and community members are crafting bowls for hungry diners willing to eat a vast range of hearty soups at an Empty Bowls event to raise money to benefit four Huntingdon County food banks in the Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon.

The Empty Bowls dinner, which is at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9 in the basement of the Stone Church in Huntingdon, requires a ticket price of $10 for adults and $5 for children under 10. Patrons of the event who have paid the adult price will get not only soup and bread, but also a hand-made ceramic soup bowl from the college's renowned pottery program. Empty Bowls, is a nationwide event designed to focus attention on world hunger.

"In the past five years we have raised more than $10,000 and served at least 150 gallons of soup."

Bethany Benson, assistant professor of art

Tickets are available at the information desk in Juniata's Ellis Hall.

The dinner will raise funds for the Huntingdon Food Pantry, Mount Union Food Bank, Southern Food Bank and the Salvation Army Food Bank.

In addition, the Huntingdon Hoss's Steak and Sea restaurant has agreed to partner with the Empty Bowls event. Between March 6 and April 3 all diners who purchase a meal and bring a canned good or nonperishable food item to the Huntingdon restaurant will take home a pint of soup or have the option of donating their pint to the Empty Bowls campaign. Hoss's also donated 8 to 10 gallons of soup for the Empty Bowls dinner.

Soup and ceramics fans can also take part in an "early bird special" by paying $3 extra on top of the original ticket price for adults and children to come early at 4 p.m. to have more time to choose their own bowl.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Juniata's involvement with Empty Bowls, two of Juniata's art faculty have made 100 bowls for lucky local soup fans. Jack Troy, professor emeritus of art and a renowned ceramic artist known for his anagama pottery, and Bethany Benson, assistant professor of art at Juniata, each made 50 bowls. Roughly eight Juniata students and five community members also made the more than 400 bowls needed for the event. In addition, Karin Brown, the student organizer of the first Empty Bowls event, returned to campus March 19 to make a few bowls.

"In the past five years we have raised more than $10,000 and served at least 150 gallons of soup," estimates Benson

Tickets to the event are available at the door. Juniata's event, which is sponsored by PAX-O, the student club for peace and conflict studies, the Catholic Council, the Hunitngdon Art Alliance and Mud Junkies, the ceramic studio, is designed as a benefit, and also as an outreach project between students and the local community. Last year, the event raised $3,500 for the Huntingdon Food Bank.

The Empty Bowls organizers also are selling T-shirts commemorating the event. The shirts are available at the information desk in Ellis Hall for $10 or diners can purchase a T-Shirt and a ticket at the door for $18 for adults and $13 for children under 10 on the day of the event.

A variety of soups and breads will be available for the event, provided by a wide variety of local restaurants, some of which are: Hoss's, Memories, Dragon, Donna's, Herwig's Austrian Bistro, Standing Stone Coffee Company, Boxers, Diner 22, and Sodexo Campus Services Division, the food service provider for Juniata College. Other businesses have donated services or supplies.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.