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Empty Bowls finds a winning recipe

November 01, 2011

Empty Bowls finds a winning recipe


A hand-crafted bowl and a variety of tasty soups prepared by local chefs are the main ingredients of an event that raises money for local food banks.

The Alton Mill Arts Centre hosted its second annual Empty Bowls on Oct. 22. Approximately 200 guests joined the soup line for the chance to choose one of hundreds of bowls made by area potters. Their bowls were then filled with one of five soups on offer for lunch.  While sampling the soup at communal tables in the Pond Gallery, which overlooks the Alton Millpond, they enjoyed the sounds of musicians Hannah Chapplain and Ben Sullivan. At the end of the meal, they went home with the bowl, a full belly, and the knowledge that they had helped the less fortunate in the community.This year Empty Bowls raised approximately $6,000, plus it received a tremendous financial boost from Scotiabank in Orangeville with a pledge to match donations to a maximum of $5,000. Total proceeds from Empty Bowls 2011 are ear-marked for food programs provided by Caledon Community Services and Orangeville's Westminster United Church.

Empty Bowls is “volunteerism at its best,”  according to the event's organizer, Ann Randeraad. A potter with studio space at the Alton Mill, Ms. Randeraad personally co-ordinated the making and glazing of more than 150 bowls, including a few dozen from students at Westside Secondary School in Orangeville. Thirteen other potters also donated bowls. Artists at the Alton Mill pitched in to sell tickets, create floral centrepieces, ladle soup and wash the bowls.

The gourmet soups were deliciously prepared and  donated by Village Bistro in Caledon Village, Ray's 3rd Generation Bakery & Bistro in Alton, Saucy Girl Foods of Orangeville, and Shaws Creek Café, located in the Alton Mill Arts Centre.

Other sponsors included Dawn Friesen Graphic Design, Mono Arts Graphics and Print,  McLean-Sherwood Party Rental & Supplies, and BookLore in Orangelville.

Ms. Randeraad was thrilled to have welcomed so many guests to lunch, and adds: “Besides raising funds, I hope these bowls will also raise awareness about  hunger. Each bowl is a gentle reminder that not everyone has a full bowl every day.”