Full Bowls and Helping Hearts

Potters David Voorhees (event coordinator) and Honey Burrell are busy making bowls for the cause. Right: vessels by Burrell. Photos by Rachel Pressley

A service project that started more than 25 years ago at a high school in Michigan, with a goal to address hunger needs in local communities, has continued throughout the years and throughout the world. Taking place in Flat Rock since 2015 inside the Parish Hall at The Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness, the “Empty Bowls” event will continue to feed local schoolchildren. Potters from all over WNC have worked to create ceramic bowls for the community meal benefitting the Flat Rock Backpack Program, which provides supplemental weekend food to students receiving free and reduced lunches.

“The potters have been called for bowls, and food and volunteers are being lined up,” says David Voorhees, well-known local potter and coordinator of the event. “Hundreds of handmade pottery bowls, gallons of soups, and piles of bread will all be ready.” 

This year’s dinner has a set goal of raising $11,000 (or half) of the annual needs for the volunteer-run Flat Rock Backpack Program.

“I am passionate about the Empty Bowls initiative … [it’s] one way I can give back to those in our community that are suffering from food insecurities,” says participating potter Honey Burrell. “I am a strong believer in helping others. Each bowl that I make is made with love, and it’s my hope that the love is felt by the individual that receives it.”

Tickets for Empty Bowls will include one handcrafted bowl donated by a local potter, a soup-based meal, bread, and dessert. $25 per person or $50 for a family of two adults and children under 12 years old. The event happens on Sunday, Sept. 27, in three seatings — 12:30, 5, and 6pm — and will be held in the Parish Hall of St. in the Wilderness (1895 Greenville Hwy., Flat Rock). Tickets are available at the parish office or from any member of the backpack program. For more information, call 828-693-9783 or visit stjohnflatrock.org (also Flat Rock Backpack Program on Facebook).

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