(Posted October 17, 2022)

HUNTINGDON, Pa.— For 1,136,400 Pennsylvanians, approximately 5,230 of whom are Huntingdon County residents, food insecurity is a fact of life. To continue to combat hunger, the 16th annual Juniata College Empty Bowls event will raise money for Huntingdon County’s four food banks and Huntingdon Area elementary schools’ Backpack Program. 

The Empty Bowls online store will open at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23. As a bonus, purchases will be accompanied by coupons to area restaurants for a complimentary bowl of soup. A special preview will open at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21. Approximately 400 handmade, one-of-a-kind bowls will be sold for $15, $13 for seniors/students. For more information, visit https://emptybowlsjuniata.square.site/. Drive-through pick-up will be available Friday, Oct. 28, in the parking lot behind Good Hall.

“Empty Bowls is hosted by faculty, staff, and students and benefits countless Huntingdon County residents who are food insecure,” said Bethany Benson, chair of the Art and Art History Department at Juniata. “In the past 15 years, Empty Bowls has raised over $73,000 for area food banks; this year, the demand for our food banks, pantries, and backpack programs is greater than ever.”

The event is organized by Benson, Robert Boryk an instructor of art, Lisa Baer, the Unity House coordinator, Jennifer Troha, and Lorri Shideler, director of Conferences and Events, assisted by students enrolled in the Empty Bowls Practicum course and volunteers from both the Juniata and Huntingdon communities. All of the proceeds from the event stay within Huntingdon. County.

Empty Bowls is a part of Juniata’s commitment to community-engaged learning. One of Juniata’s Institutional Learning Objectives is for students to be engaged with themselves and the world, and community-engaged learning provides one pathway for this outcome. All proceeds from Empty Bowls go directly to the beneficiary organizations. The bowls made for the event were created by students enrolled in Empty Bowls Practicum, faculty, and friends of Juniata College.

“Students who experience community-engaged learning expand their democratic values and civic responsibility while gaining valuable skillsets that include creating handmade artwork, respectful collaboration with community partners, and their responsibility as a contributing citizen,” said Benson.

October is World Hunger Awareness Month. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one in six children in the United States (18 percent) live in food-insecure households. Food insecurity is not having consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity can be harmful to individuals of any age but can be especially devastating to children.

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