No one should have to go without food.

West Virginia University students, faculty and staff are doing their part to make sure that doesn’t happen. The WVU community is working with the Monongalia County community to hold the 2011 Empty Bowls Luncheon.

The luncheon, held on Saturday, Feb. 26, does more than raise money for local food banks – it also promotes the art community. It will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mylan Park Expo Center. Tickets cost $15.

Those who attend the luncheon will receive a handmade ceramic bowl, soup, bread and dessert.

“This is truly a community event,” said Corey Farris, interim dean of students and Empty Bowls board member. “WVU is part of the community and part of the University’s mission is to make our community better. This is a small thing we can do to help.”

Using their artistic talents, WVU students, faculty and staff started their contributions to the cause by making and decorating ceramic bowls to be given out at the event. The WVU Ceramics Program brought students and local artists together in January to construct bowls.

Click to hear Corey Farris talk more about WVU's contributions to the event.

Students, faculty and staff members are still in the process of making bowls on their own at the WVU Craft Center and Wow! Factory.

WVU Dining Services will donate pans to hold soup the day of event, and have worked with the event board on the best way to organize the event.

The WVU Center for Civic Engagement and student groups including the Honors Student Association and Student Occupational Therapy Association will provide volunteers to serve food, sell tickets and clean up at the event.

And, many others will attend the event to make donations and support the cause.

“It is a great event and we try to get them as much support as we can from the University,” said Brett White, special events coordinator at the WVU Center for Civic Engagement. The center also helps by promoting the event across campus.

Almost 20 percent of West Virginia families with young children don’t know if they will be able to eat each day. Empty Bowls – in its fifth year in Morgantown – serves thousands of area families each year.

In 2010, the luncheon raised $16,000 that was distributed to 12 food pantries and feeding programs in the county, serving more than 2,800 families.

This year, the goal of the event is to sell more than 1,000 tickets and obtain additional donations from local businesses and community organizations, Farris said.

Empty Bowls is a worldwide project established by the nonprofit Imagine/Render group. Since its beginning as a high school arts project in Michigan in 1990, Empty Bowls events have contributed millions of dollars toward ending hunger.

For more information on Empty Bowls Monongalia County, visit .



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