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Empty Bowls Fill Food Bank Cupboards

Fight hunger slurping soup from 10 area restaurants

What does it take to get 13 restaurants, four local businesses, three community organizations and dozens of students working toward a common goal?
    The realization that in spite of the overall wealth of Anne Arundel County — it’s the 18th richest county in the nation — thousands of citizens still need help putting food on the table.
    Spurred by that knowledge, these 20 have helped South River High School teacher Wes Baker and his students achieve the ultimate goal of all fundraisers. All the money they collect at Empty Bowls goes directly to the Anne Arundel County Food bank.

Local potters like John McClure, above, make the bowls that will be filled with soup from 10 different restaurants at the Empty Bowls fundraiser at South River High School Wednesday, November 20.

    “One hundred percent of the money from Empty Bowls goes to the Food Bank because my students, parents and I have worked to get everything we need donated,” Baker says. “Businesses and organizations in our community have been passionate about this cause.”
    Last year’s event raised $4,500.
    The concept of empty bowls is simple and provocative. Local businesses donate soup, bread and other supplies. Local potters handcraft bowls. Local students plan, promote and staff the event. Soup eaters pay an entrance fee, choose one of the artisan bowls, then partake of any (or all) of the donated soups. They leave with their bowl, a reminder there are some in our county who struggle to keep their own bowls full.

Chevys kitchen manager Celia Guzman stirs chicken tortilla soup.

    This year, 10 local restaurants are donating 100 bowls of soup each.
    “It’s a way to touch many people at one event,” says Brendan O’Leary, manager of Annapolis Chevys, one of the donating restaurants. “We’re trying to impact lives through our business.”
    Several local pottery groups craft the bowls: Annapolis Pottery, Providence Center, Xpress IT studios, the South River High School ceramics class and Maryland Hall potters. At Maryland Hall, John McClure leads a group of six crafters creating some 150 of the 300 or so bowls to be filled.

10 Restaurants,
100 Servings,
1,000 Bowls of Soup

Adam’s Ribs: Sausage soup
Bistro at South River: Roasted Corn and Bacon Chowder
Chevys: Tortilla soup
Chick Fil-A: Chicken noodle soup
All-American Steakhouse: Maryland crab soup
Greene Turtle: Chili
Chad’s Chicken and BBQ: BBQ brisque chili
Chop House: Potato leek soup
Killarney House: Spicy Irish soup
Yellowfin: Cream of crab soup

    “I like to make sure the time and money I contribute go to local needs,” McClure told Bay Weekly. “All the Empty Bowls funds go directly to the food bank.”
    Last year 300 people ate to end hunger. This year Baker and his students are preparing for that many and more.

Empty Bowls: Wednesday, November 20 at South River High School, 6pm. $20 w/advance, student and age discounts: http://wbake1.wix.com/emptybowls.