Empty Bowls fundraiser works to fight hunger

The annual event to benefit Schenectady organizations will be held 5 p.m. Sunday at Proctors.
Empty bowls student organizers
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Empty Bowls fundraiser works to fight hunger

Empty bowls student organizers

Empty Bowls student organizers Sharmeen Azher '17, Ian Koon '18 and Hannah Ellen '19 hold bowls that will be available at this weekend's event. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union photo)

The Empty Bowls Project returns to the GE Theater this Sunday, April 17. The fundraising event is organized and run by Union student volunteers through the Kenney Community Center.

Begun in 1990 as a national grassroots effort to raise awareness of and help fight food insecurity at the community level, a group of Union students introduced Empty Bowls to Schenectady in 2009. Student volunteers and community members have come together to support the City Mission of Schenectady, Bethesda House and Concerned for the Hungry - three local organizations dedicated to combating hunger in the area.

The program will begin at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The evening includes entertainment by a variety of student-led musical and dance groups and a raffle with prizes, as well as the opportunity to hear speakers from all three charitable organizations and the Kenney Center. Attendees will receive a delicious but meager meal, provided by donations from Bomber’s Burrito Bar, Our Daily Bread and Dining Services.

Participants will also receive a handmade ceramic bowl of their choice, which they may keep at the end of the night as a symbol of the “empty bowls” that many of our community’s vulnerable residents.

Sharmeen Azher ‘17, Jenna Salisbury ‘18, Ian Koon ‘18 and Hannah Ellen ‘19 organize the event. Ceramics instructor Nancy Niefield, who will be honored at Sunday’s event for as she retires from Union in June, has traditionally organized the on-campus bowl-making workshops.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $15 and can purchased by calling the Kenney Community Center at 518-388-6609 or emailing volunteer@union.edu. Tickets will also be sold at the door.