Empty Bowls event aims to raise hunger awareness

By Lauren Dielman

Everyone is encouraged eat soup for a good cause.

The School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences and the NIU Ceramics Club organized the event Empty Bowls to bring awareness to hunger. The event will be hosted by Bread for the World (BFTW) and the Student Dietetic Association.

NIU will host Empty Bowls at 4:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Chandelier Room in Adams Hall.

“It’s a nationwide event to bring awareness to hunger,” said Claudia Kovach, senior nutrition and dietics major. “People come in and buy soup and bread. People get to experience what it’s like to go to a soup kitchen.”

Kovach said the ceramic bowls that are purchased for the soup are meant to be symbolic.

“They buy ceramic bowls to take home as a reminder of people left with empty bowls,” Kovach said.

The money from the event will be donated to Hope Haven, 1145 Rushmoore Drive, a homeless shelter in DeKalb.

Lesly Wicks, executive director for Hope Haven, said the shelter has participated in Empty Bowls since NIU first hosted it fourteen years ago.

“I thoroughly enjoy going every year,” Wicks said. “I get a beautiful bowl, the food is amazing, there is a good group running it and it raises funds for the homeless in our community, which is greatly needed.”

Wicks said the donations will support Hope Haven’s emergency shelter, which provides food and services to the homeless.

There are 68 to 78 homeless people in Hope Haven per night with 26 at Hope Haven’s housing project per night, Wicks said.

Empty Bowls will serve broccoli cheddar, chicken noodle, minestrone and chunky pizza soup in addition to bread.

Catherine Proscia, senior nutritional sciences major and president of BFTW, said this is the first year they have co-hosted the event.

“We have helped by attaining food donations from local grocery stores, publicity, raffle prizes, and we will be helping to prepare and serve the dinner,” Proscia said. “Through our NIU chapter, students educate the public and participate in community service events to help those of the community in need. This event is one way to involve the community and has a great cause with all profits going towards Hope Haven, a homeless shelter here in DeKalb.”

Proscia said she expects a great turn-out at Empty Bowls. There are 100 seats during each session and Kovach said spots are filling up fast.