Tuscaloosa. – Ceramics students at UA have a tradition that goes back more than a decade of donating handmade ceramic bowls to a local Presbyterian church’s food pantry fundraiser.Ceramics students and faculty at UA have contributed handmade bowls to the Empty Bowls food pantry fundraiser again this year.

Grace Presbyterian Church will host its 11th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, a program designed to raise awareness about hunger, on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the church fellowship hall, 113 Hargrove Road in Tuscaloosa.

For a suggested donation of $12, attendees can select a handmade bowl created by UA ceramics students and faculty, and will receive a meal of soup, bread, and water.  The “meager meal” is intended to remind participants that food security eludes many of our West Alabama neighbors; the empty bowl shows that many go to bed hungry.

Begun by ceramics professors in the late 1990s, for the past six years, Assistant Professor Matt Mitros has organized the bowl-making brigade. Mitros explains, “Each year we are approached by Grace Presbyterian to create 100 bowls. The ceramics area starts work in the fall and we usually deliver the bowls in February. The makers who contribute their work have a range of experience and expertise, from students in Introductory Ceramics to faculty.”

Matt Mitros and members of Crimson Clay, 2018One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will support Grace Presbyterian Church’s Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry. The Food Pantry distributes food that is purchased from the West Alabama Food Bank and every ten dollars raised via Empty Bowls translates to fifty-six pounds of purchased food. On average this important outreach program distributes two tons of food every month and serves approximately 700 persons.

Professor Mitros said, “Knowing that their donated vessels will end up in homes throughout the area after the event and having the opportunity to serve the community by donating work which is used to raise money to help those in need is an important part of the experience for our students.”

Local businesses will be donating soups and bread for the lunch and entertainment this year will be provided by Tuscaloosa resident and Celtic musician, Jil Chambless.UA ceramic students are making 100 bowls to donate to UPC's Empty Bowls event this year!

For more information about Grace Presbyterian and the Empty Bowls event, call (205) 758-1193 or visit www.gracetuscaloosa.org.