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News Community Student Empty Bowls project raises hunger awareness locally and globally

Hanging plaques were made from recycled materials.On Sunday, the Franklin High School Interact Club and the Art Department put their art class creations on display at the 3rd annual “Empty Bowls” project on the sidewalk of The Fun Factory. Hundreds of bowls of all kinds and colors had one thing in common: They were empty. The primary message of the empty bowls was that there are people in the world that have little to nothing to eat.

The public was encouraged to come by and pick out a bowl for a donation.

Also on display were small, wooden wall hangings that were created entirely from recycled materials — from the paint, the wood, and the decorations to the aluminum can tabs for the hangers. These pieces were also designed to raise awareness of the need for recycling as well as hunger.

Senior Mary Parrish dips out ice cream for waiting customers. Photos by Kimberly PruettThe bowls and decorative wall hangings were donated by the students. Doug Hubbs, pottery professor at Southwestern Community College, also donated a few select pieces to the cause. The proceeds from the donations go to stopping hunger locally by giving to CareNet, and globally by giving to Stop Hunger Now in Haiti.

The students that didn’t donate bowls to the cause, gave in other ways. They gave time to help organize and run the event. Mary Parrish, a senior at FHS and will be attending the Maryland Institute of Art in the fall, said “I’m not very good at pottery, so I helped the other guys shellac their bowls and then set them up.” Parrish also helped dish up ice cream and toppings.

Jennifer Richter, FHS senior valedictorian, said that projects such as these not only help those that are hungry, but they “show that we [young people] do realize what is going on in our communities and the world and want to do something to help. This is just a good group effort.”

The empty bowls for which the event was named were handmade by the art class at Franklin High School with some select pieces from SCC pottery professor Doug Hubbs. The empty bowls were offered for a donation to fight hunger.Coinciding with the Empty Bowls exhibit was the Macon County Schools art exhibit, “Keeping Your Eye on the Arts,” in the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. Those viewing the exhibit also ventured outside to look at the FHS bowls, forming a line around the tables to look at the art and pick out a bowl for a donation. Finally, the people enjoyed ice cream donated by local businesses, which was welcome on the hot day.

Parrish commented that the Empty Bowls project is “a good way to raise awareness of art in Macon County, especially among the younger generation, and it all goes to a great cause.”

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