A ladle of soup and a bite of bread -- that's what guests receive for lunch when Microtel Inn & Suites hosts an Empty Bowls event on Saturday, Nov. 9. Serving is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"The Empty Bowls Project is an international project that raises awareness of hunger and food security in participating communities who host the event," said Marilyn Sahlstrom, Microtel administrative assistant/sales.

The premise is simple. Handmade ceramic bowls are created by local artisans, while the soup and bread are served by the host. Guests purchase a bowl that is filled with the soup.

"It's all to raise awareness of the plight of hunger in our community and nation and to provide much needed monies to organizations who provide food to those in need," Sahlstrom said.

This year's recipients are the AMEN Food Pantry, Community Action's Prairie Rose Center, the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center, House of Manna and Harvest Home.

Sahlstrom has invited local businesses to become corporate sponsors of bowls. These particular bowls will be made by artisans, including Dickinson State University faculty members Robin Reynolds, Greg Walter and Andrew McGarva and Dickinson High School art instructor Tod Winters.

The smaller bowls are being made by students enrolled in Reynold's ceramics classes.

"It's a national project started by potters many years ago," Reynolds said. "We understand in this town, especially last year, there has been such a demand on the food bank and how really low on funds they are."

Sysco foods is donating the soup and the sisters from Richardton's Sacred Heart Monastery are baking the bread. The donations will be distributed by United Way of Dickinson to community members whose "bowls are empty."

Participants may keep their bowls in exchange for a donation.

"The bowls have a linked memory," Reynolds said. "When you use that bowl, you automatically have a memory of why you have it. It also creates awareness simultaneously about the clay arts and creativity among the student body. It's a great project that has endured."

Microtel Inn & Suites is located at 1597 Sixth Ave. W. For more information regarding sponsorships, call Sahstrom at 701-456-2000.