By Sarah Mann
Elm Staff Writer
Have you heard of Empty Bowls yet? This campaign holds events throughout the country, and has been represented here at Washington College through the Service Council. Last Thursday, the Service Council helped to host an Empty Bowls dinner event that took place at the Garfield Center for the Arts in downtown Chestertown.
This year is not the first year that the Service Council and other WC students have gotten involved with this event.
“This is our Third Annual Event for the Service Council,” said senior Kelsey Mills from the Service Council. “The support has grown over the years by more and more of the community becoming involved. This year, we have branched out into the community even more by holding the event off campus. The event began in Hynson in its first year, Underwood Lobby last year, and this year is at the Garfield Center for the Arts downtown. The aesthetic of the Garfield is perfect for our event and helps us tie into the community greatly.”
So how did the Service Council find out about Empty Bowls? As it turns out, it was Director of Student Development Beth-Anne Langrell who first introduced the movement to campus.
“I brought the Empty Bowls project to the campus when I arrived in 2005,” Langrell said. “I was a part of a huge two day event while in gradate school in Syracuse University. When we first started the event the bowls were sold in front of Play it Again, Sam and at the Farmers Market in town. Once we had enough interest from the community we expanded to include the dinner. Former Service Council co-Presidents Jesse Schaefer and Leah Sbriscia were a huge part of the event expansion.”
The most important part of the event is the cause.
Kelsey Mills explained, “This is a very valuable cause because all of the money we raise from ticket sales, donations, raffle ticket sales, and silent auction items goes directly to the Food Bank. Last year we raised over $2,000 for the event. The food pantry is just a huge contributor to the Kent County underprivileged. During their first quarter of the year (Jan-March) they distributed over 11,000 pounds of food a month. An average of 231 families a month, with 433 adults and 211 children, were provided food (about 50 pounds per family) in the community. They can use the extra funding as the bank purchased $24,550 of food during this quarter. The Service Council is structured into four different levels—campus, local, national and global. We are able to fulfill two of these levels by supporting our local food bank by using the basis of a national campaign. We seek to serve others in need, and not only are we supporting the community members in need, but we are helping support the organization that helps those less fortunate community members.”
At the event, Mills gave a speech thanking those who helped with the event, and board members of the Kent County Food Pantry Sue Caswell and Sue Basener spoke on behalf of the organization. Attendees got to pick bowls made personally by the members of Student Council, “to show everyone with a keepsake bowl after they eat their meal that there are empty bowls everywhere supporting the cause to help hunger,” said Mills.
They then ate a simple meal of soup and bread, while Kentavius Jones ‘04 played music. Overall, the night was a great success on the part of those who provided help from the Kent County Food Pantry and the Service Council.