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Students take a creative approach to fighting food insecurity

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Students in Martha Sullivan's service-learning ceramics course are crafting soup bowls to be donated for a fall event hosted by the Plenty! foodbank and farm. Their bowls will be sold to benefit local organizations that fight food insecurity. "I think it's really great for the students to see that there's an entry level into community service," said Sullivan.
Empty bowls is a service learning course where students design and produce soup bowls. And then we use those bowls at an event called empty bowls. That is a public event where folks come and pick out a handmade Bowl and have soup and bread and enjoy a nice community dinner. And then we use that money to support organizations in the area that fight food insecurity. Like Mike is backpack, which packs a weekend's worth of food into backpacks and delivers it to elementary school kids all throughout Montgomery County. And also plenty of food bank and farm unemployed, which supports the entire county. So if you have a mop and when you put your pot down, it's sitting off to the side is gonna be kinda hard to track. Interested in doing empty bowls because I've been teaching ceramics here for about 15 years. And empty bowls is actually a national movement. I believe it started in the Western mountains of North Carolina where a group of artists, specifically potters, we're going to figure out how to give back to their community. And so they got together as a group and made bowls for a soup. I kind of like that we're running. It was trimmed with about over the course of the 12 years that we've been doing empty bowls, at least eight of those had been dedicated towards Mike as backpack. And over that time, we raised enough money to support 50 kids for an entire year. The number of folks that go hungry and this area is astounding. As a land-grant university, we have a responsibility to give back to our community, and we have to show students ways to do that. That phrase, service learning is used on the agenda campus and a couple of different ways, but it usually involves some sort of community component as a part of the learning outcomes for the class itself. So key to this class is understanding that has a community impact. And so they pick a particular making method that's appropriate for this shape that they want. Then they have to repeat that ten times. And then in the end, we have such a great collection, hundreds of bowls that then being able to impact the community. And know that every year we've really helped people, we help the wellness of our community, I think is really great students to see that there's an entry-level into community service. There's people to go. I'm going to pick up trash on the side of a highway or maybe somebody just wants my money, but there's actually a lot of different ways to give back to the community. And so it's nice to be creative and helpful and see that those things actually they go hand in hand.