Hunger awareness event part of all-campus food drive

The hunger needs of people living in the Ripon area are being spotlighted by the annual Empty Bowls project, sponsored by Ripon College’s Center for Social Responsibility. David William Scott, the Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership at Ripon College, says about 50 million Americans — or one in six — are living in food-insecure households.

“While hunger may not be as visible in small towns as it is in big cities, that doesn’t mean it is not still a problem,” Scott says.

Empty Bowls will raise funds for the Ripon Community Food Pantry from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3, in the Dahm Heritage Room in Pickard Commons on the campus. Visitors will be served a simple fare of soup and bread, served in a ceramic bowl produced by members of Associate Professor of Art Mollie Oblinger’s ceramics class. Diners can select a bowl to represent those in Ripon’s community for whom food might be on the table, but it neither satisfies the stomach nor fortifies the body.

There is no fee to partake in the meal, but participants are encouraged to browse the collection of ceramic bowls and take a bowl home with them in exchange for a $10 donation.

Ripon College students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to dine anywhere within the timeframe; however, Scott will give a short presentation about hunger awareness at 5:45 p.m. Malainey Myrin ’16, the 2014 Miss Fond du Lac, will participate in the presentation as well.

Amy Pollesch, director of the Ripon Community Food Pantry, says that on a monthly basis, the food pantry serves between 275 and 325 families in the Ripon area for a total of nearly 650 individuals. Revenue generated from the Traded Treasures Thrift Store helps support the food pantry.

“We encourage people, that if they can’t help financially, they shop and donate locally at the thrift store,” she says.

Last year, Empty Bowls raised around $675 dollars, but Scott hopes that the results of the event will be more than monetary. “I hope that it causes people to think about hunger and homelessness more than they would have otherwise,” he says.

In addition to Empty Bowls, the Center for Social Responsibility also will hold an on-campus food drive from Dec. 1-18. Collection bins will be in the Commons for donations of non-perishable food items such as canned goods and boxed goods. Food high in protein is especially appreciated.

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