Every year in early March, the Feed My People Food Bank hosts a community event known as Empty Bowls. This awareness campaign brings community members together to enjoy a meal, while raising proceeds for hunger relief efforts in West Central Wisconsin. Handcrafted bowls are donated from all over the Chippewa Valley for purchase at this event, so each guest can take home a special memory along with the knowledge that their monetary donations are supporting their fellow people in need.
While local restaurants donate the soups, breads, and deserts, the bowls are sourced from a variety of local venues and artists. Students at UWEC who enroll in a ceramics course with the Art + Design department are given a unique opportunity. They are able to design and donate hundreds of bowls which enable them to connect with the Eau Claire community. Each spring semester, intermediate and advanced students work with Ceramics instructor Susan O'Brien to collaborate with the community as they practice their skills.