The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Empty Bowls at the Village Cafe

Photo by Courtesy of Amanda Bartel

Not everyone has equal access to a full bowl of food. Empty Bowls hopes to bring awareness to this, one bowl at a time. 
Empty Bowls is an annual event where participants can buy a handmade bowl created by the community with all proceeds going to the Brazos Valley Food Bank. Local businesses, such as White Lotus Pottery and U Paint-It, donated the bowls while restaurants, such as C&J Barbecue and Shipwreck Grill, donated soup. Each purchase of a bowl comes with a bowl of soup, all donated by local businesses, according to the Brazos Valley Empty Bowls Facebook.  

Amanda Bartel is the owner of White Lotus Pottery and one of the organizers of Empty Bowls, which is an important event to her. 

“It’s definitely a team organization that has continued for 17 years now,” Bartel said. “All the money that we raised today goes to the Brazos Valley Food Bank.”
White Lotus Pottery is one of the businesses that donated bowls this year and Bartel said it is inspiring to see each business come together for a good cause. 

“All of the bowls have been donated by local potters, so it’s just a big conglomeration of donations that all come together,” Bartel said. “We had over 450 bowls total this year.”
Bartel said each bowl cost $20 which all goes towards the Brazos Valley Food Bank who can feed many people with each purchase. 

“The food bank does a phenomenal job, so $1 can buy two meals,” Bartel said. “By buying a bowl for $20, that’s 40 meals per bowl, and with 450 bowls total, the number of meals we could help fund has a huge impact on our community.”

Penny Woodcock is the owner of U Paint-It, a pottery store where customers can paint their own ceramics, and said she enjoys being back in-person after COVID-19 caused them to pause the event.

“This is our first year back after the pandemic mayhem,” Woodcock said. “We’re seeing lots of old friends that have missed it for the last couple of years.”

Woodcock said the bowls bring awareness to food scarcity within the community by representing hunger. 

“The empty bowl symbolizes the number of empty bowls in our community and in our world,” Woodcock said. “Our goal is to make sure everybody’s bowl is filled with something.”

In the future, Woodcock said they would love to get more participants or volunteers involved in Empty Bowls to make a strong impact on the community. 

“We’d love to have more people come out and purchase bowls or even just make them,” Woodcock said. “By getting more people involved, the amount of good we do also increases.”

Business sophomore Chloe Griffin just recently started working at the Village Cafe and said the community was eager to help out at Empty Bowls. 

“There was a line out before we even opened the door,” Griffin said. “People were lined out there, ready to get their bowls filled.”

Griffin said she enjoyed giving soup out in the event and watching the Brazos Valley come together for a good cause. 

“Not all these people know each other, but they’re all talking to each other and getting to know each other,” Griffin said. “It just reminds you about what community and volunteering is all about.”

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