Helping the Hungry at the 3rd Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser Raising Funds, Friends and Awareness

by Deborah Rothschild

Guests at this year’s Empty Bowls Supper will again show their solidarity with hungry people in the Rogue Valley. For the third year, Peace House is hosting this modest meal of soup and bread to benefit Uncle Foods Diner. Proceeds will be shared with the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, ACCESS, and Food Angels, partners in addressing food security for the poor and homeless.

Herbert Rothschild, Board chair of Peace House, expressed his gratitude for the annual outpouring of support for Uncle Foods Diner. “Ashland has taken Uncle Foods Diner to its heart. Just as the people it serves are encouraged to regard themselves as welcome members of the community, so too the community has welcomed Uncle Foods Diner as its own for 21 years.”

The Empty Bowls Supper will be held Friday, May 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church’s Wesley Hall located at 175 N. Main St. in Ashland. Guests will choose handmade bowls made by local potters, which will be filled with soups supplied by area restaurants.

Tickets for the event are $25 for adults, $10 for students, and those under 12 are free. Tickets may be purchased in Ashland at Paddington Station or Northwest Nature Shop, on-line at, or at the door.

Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger. It was founded in 1990 in Michigan by Lisa Blackburn and John Harton, an art teacher, whose idea was to organize a charitable event to give artists and art students a way to make a personal difference. The grass roots events are currently held in many areas of the United States and Canada and have raised millions of dollars to support food related charities around the world to aid in the fight against hunger.

Zoe Alowan and Julie Wiley are co-chairing the Empty Bowls Supper for Peace House again this year. Zoe explained that “Empty Bowls events were originally organized as pottery sales at SOU by area chapters of The Soroptimists. People who bought a bowl would be given a voucher for an area restaurant. When Peace House took over the event three years ago, Empty Bowls was re-created as a full supper. And each year there is greater community participation, resulting in more money that benefits the hungry.”

Participating Jackson County restaurants include Amuse, Bella Union, C Street Bistro, Howie’s on Front St., Green Springs Inn, Greenleaf Restaurant, Maren Faye Caterers, Pangea, Spoons, and Tabu. Artisan breads from Deux Chats Bakery, Standing Stone Brewing Co., and Wiley’s World Pasta will be featured.

Music will be provided by Blades of Grass, the Peace Choir Ensemble, jazz pianist Alan Berman, and guitarist Laura Christine. Area potters from Clayfolk, SOU Ceramic students, and Mark Sherbow’s fifth grade students and Kari Smith’s first grade students from Helman Elementary School in Ashland will donate bowls for the Empty Bowls Supper.

Area sponsors include Ashland Food Co-op, Clayfolk, Sunday Afternoons, Tree Tops Foundation, LocalsGuide, Bear Creek Naturopathic Clinic, Gift Communities, Ashland Drug, Sound Peace, Terra Firma, and Lloyd Mathew Haines – Attorney at Law.

For more information call Peace House at 541-482-9625.

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