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October 4, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU fights hunger through 'Empty Bowls'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at Slippery Rock University has teamed with the SRU art department to sponsor the University's annual Empty Bowls Project from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 4-6 p.m., Oct. 15, in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

"Empty Bowls" is an international project to fight hunger on a community level initiated in the early 19002 by Michigan high school art teacher John Hartom when he joined a drive to raise charitable funds in his community.

Hartom's idea was to organize a charity event to give artists and art students a way to make a personal difference. His high school students made ceramic soup bowls in art classes. The finished products were then used as individual serving pieces for a fund-raising meal of soup and bread. Contributing guests kept the empty bowl.

SRU's program is similarly organized with volunteer students painting nearly 500 bowls, which are then kiln fired. Those participating in the project select a bowl for use at the simple meal of soup and bread. Participants then take-home their ceramic bowl as a reminder of hunger issues around the world.

SRU has offered its Empty Bowls Project for 17 years, raising more than $40,000 for local community and international food providers.

The event also serves to increase awareness of hunger in the community and globally. Proceeds from this year's project will benefit the Feed My Sheep Food Cupboard and E4 Project - educate, engage, equip and empower a nonprofit organization with a primary focus on the poor and needy. The organization currently works with groups in Gabon, Africa.

Tickets for the campus event are $5 and are available from the CSIL Office in the center.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.