Empty Bowls fundraiser commemorates Natchez Tricentennial
Published 12:06 am Sunday, January 24, 2016
Feb. 14, people the all over the world celebrate love with pink hearts and candy. In Natchez, the Natchez Stewpot is inviting you to celebrate love toward your fellow man with gumbo at the Empty Bowls event.
Since its beginning in 1990, Empty Bowls has helped raise money to feed hungry people worldwide.
“The meal is always a simple meal of soup and bread, nothing fancy, and you take the bowl home as a reminder of all the hungry people in the world,” Empty Bowls Chairman Donna Jones said.
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Jones is in charge of the local Empty Bowls event, which benefits the Stewpot. The event first began in Natchez in 2004 and has since become the organization’s biggest fundraiser.
Every other year since then, local potters have come together and made bowls to fill with food and raise money.
“We just all enjoy coming together for the day and doing this project,” Stewpot Director Amanda Jeansonne said.
In the past, local organizers have hosted Empty Bowls every other year. But for the first time, the event is being hosted in back-to-back years, to meet the Stewpot’s needs.
Jeansonne said funds raised will be used for maintenance, repairs and operational expenses at the Stewpot.
It’s also the first, and only, year to celebrate the city’s 300th birthday. In honor of the event, 300 tickets will be for sale, each corresponding to a bowl made by members of the community, from students to local potters.
“There will be a huge variety of all shapes and sizes,” Jones said.
The unique nature of the bowls is something Jones loves about the event. In past years she’s seen people carefully look over the table of bowls before picking one up, and then putting it back down after finding one they like better.
“It is so much fun to watch people pick their bowl and how excited they get over the handmade bowl they get to bring back home with them,” Jones said.
Some bowls are shaped like hearts to commemorate the holiday, while others have hearts painted on them. On the day of the event, guests can come to Natchez Pottery, and select a bowl to fill with Roux 61’s gumbo, as well as grab a side of corn bread.
Attendees can either eat there or take it to go, leaving with a homemade bowl, and a little more heart.
The event lasts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Natchez Pottery. Tickets are $25 and can be bought from a Natchez Pottery member or at Natchez Coffee Company.
If tickets sell out, Jones said people can come to Natchez Pottery 12:30 p.m. on the day of the event to buy any leftover bowls.