° empty

How Can Empty Bowls Fill a Stewpot?

Empty Bowls is a Natchez Clay studio fundraising event for the Natchez Stewpot. This event creatively assists in the commitment to help end hunger. Local potters donate hundreds of handmade bowls of all shapes, sizes and colors. Talented cooks donate gumbo to fill the bowls.

In exchange for a $25 donation, guests enjoy the food and fellowship and then keep their personally selected bowl. All proceeds of the event are given to the Stewpot.

The Natchez Stewpot serves the hungry and food-insecure in our midst. By providing more than 200 meals every day, the Stewpot’s effort is essential to those in need. It coordinates with the U.S. Food Network and food-drive organizations, but funds are constantly required to purchase the quantity of food to serve the large volume of meals.

In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world.

By the following year the originators had developed this concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens and other organizations that fight hunger. Following their example, the Empty Bowls project was initiated at Natchez Clay eight years ago.

Since that time, four biannual events have raised more than $40,000 for the Stewpot. Internationally, millions of dollars have been raised by Empty Bowls projects developed and adapted locally.

This year, Empty Bowls will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Natchez Clay studio, 101 Clifton Ave.

Gumbo will be provided by the Sandbar Restaurant. A limited number of tickets are available. This event always sells out, so obtain your tickets now at the Natchez Coffee Company, 509 Franklin St.

In collaboration with the Earth and Fire Pottery Studio in New Orleans, 100 bowls donated by new artists will be available in addition to work by local potters. For those not wanting to stay and eat, the food and bowl will be packaged for take-out.

Help end hunger, one empty bowl at a time, by supporting this event.


Liz Dantone is a potter at Natchez Clay studio.