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Fighting Hunger One Bowl at a Time


Artists, students, and teachers are fighting hunger in the Quad Cities--one colorful glass and clay bowl at a time. The Moline School District will host its 5th annual Empty Bowls Project tonight in the high school cafeteria.

Joel Ryser, chairman of the fine arts department, brought the project to the Quad Cities in 2010 as a way to raise money for local food banks. 

Hundreds of original bowls made by students, teachers, and artists will be displayed, and people who donate to the Empty Bowls Project can pick one.  

"We have twenty different soups that restaurants from around the area have donated, and the patron can go around and sample the soup and bread all they want--as much as they want," Ryser says.  

The Empty Bowls Project has sold more than 1,000 bowls and raised over $19,000 in its first four years.

Ryser calls it a community effort:

"You get a bunch of people that come together like that, you know things are going to work, and we're just lucky that we've got so many people working toward the same vision.  I'm really proud and happy to be a part of it." 

Ryser estimates 350 bowls will be for sale tonight for this year's Empty Bowls Project.

The fundraiser will be held from 5 to 8 pm at the Moline High School Cafeteria.  

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.