Bowls, yes. Soup? Probably not

By Gordon Lambie

Lucy Doheny is making bowls, but they might stay empty for a while.
“I’m absolutely convinced that it will happen, I just don’t know how,” the local potter and organizer of the annual empty bowls fundraiser said when asked about the future of the event in a year when almost every face-to face event has been cancelled.
Empty Bowls is not unique to Lennoxville, having come from a grassroots movement that dates back to the 1990s, but the event has succeeded in raising thousands of dollars for its cause of combatting hunger on the local level over the past few years. The premise of the event is that donations of inexpensive and tasty food and beautiful local pottery are brought together for a simple fundraising meal, the proceeds of which are then given to causes that help feed the hungry in the community. Over its seven editions to date the Lennoxville event has made donations to the Cornerstone Food Bank, the Lennoxville and District Women’s Centre’s food program, the Lennnoxville Elementary School breakfast program, and the Bishop’s and Champlain Pastoral fund.
Faced with a world where people are not supposed to share food or gather together indoors, however, Doheny said that the small planning team has some challenges to overcome in figuring out how to make the event possible.
“The need for money for food banks is even more important now,” the potter said, noting that food insecurity has been a much bigger issue in 2020 thanks to the pandemic and associated job losses. “I’m trying to think of different ways we can do it, but I don’t think we can do soup again or have it in the church hall.”
Despite that uncertainty, the bowls are being made.
“As soon as the bowls are ready we can go,” Doheny said, suggesting that at the very least the team could sell finished, empty bowls in a selection of public places throughout the community.
“I’m accepting all sorts of suggestions from people,” she added. “Who knows what’s going to happen between now and November.”
Doheny recommended that anyone interested in updates about the event can follow the Empty Bowls Lennoxville Bols du Partage Facebook page.

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