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Empty Bowls luncheon set

What’s it like to be really hungry -- not just waiting for dinner to be served? An awareness of hunger  is the premise of the upcoming Empty Bowls Project luncheon set Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dickinson.

A simple meal of bread and soup will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge, 532 15th St. W. It’s being held in conjunction with the Badlands Art Association’s art show.

Dickinson State University ceramics students, along with professional artists, are making ceramic bowls. Guests choose a bowl to use that day and to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. In exchange for the meal, a minimum donation of $15 per bowl is asked. Proceeds will go to food programs in the Dickinson area, such as the Backpack Program and the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center.

The soup and bread will be provided by the sisters at the Sacred Heart Monastery, as well as the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge.

“We’ve done it for the last several years,” said Sister Renee Branigan, OSB, at the Monastery. “Even the poor deserve good bread.”

Ramada corporate sales manager Kelly Heimbach is happy to participate in the fundraiser.

“Not only do we thoroughly enjoy being part of a community event, but what a wonderful cause. This is nationwide, it helps people, and there are wonderful people in charge -- we’re more than ecstatic to be a part of that.”

The Dickinson event was started about eight years ago by Robin Reynolds, pottery instructor and adjunct faculty at the DSU Department of Fine and Performing Arts, and Marilyn Sahlstrom.

“I hope to get to my magic number of 165 small bowls and 20 sponsored- bowls,” Reynolds  said.

DSU faculty also are making bowls, along with Julie Schuster, Sarah Snavely, Kaitlyn Friedt and Tod Winter.  

“It’s a good fit for the DSU community and also a good fit for potters -- it’s a nationally known event,” she said.

The Empty Bowls was started in 1990 as an art class project in a Michigan high school to raise funds for a food drive.

“I get a lot of people in my shop at Hebron --  tourists know about Empty Bowls -- they are held all over -- I knew a potter in Arizona -- she and her class came up with 1,000 bowls because of the population density.”

Fast Facts about hunger

* One in six people in America face hunger.

* Food insecurity exists in every county in America. During 2013, 17.5 million households were food insecure -- defined as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members.

* Forty-nine million Americans struggle to put food on the table.

* More than 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunches each school day; only 10 percent have access to summer meal sites.

* One in seven people receive food stamps  (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); nearly half are children.