Empty bowls feed the hungry in Weakley Co.

MARTIN, Tenn. — A local art professor has found a way to use empty bowls to feed hungry people.

“I started saying years ago, ‘I can’t write a $5,000 check to WE CARE for their food pantry, but I can make 500 bowls and maybe raise $5,000,’” said University of Tennessee at Martin ceramics professor David McBeth.

In the last 15 years, McBeth has raised $100,000 for Weakley County’s food bank by making thousands of bowls.

“It evolved into a monster, a wonderful monster,” McBeth said.

This year, his goal is to make 850 bowls, each with $15 donations that will go straight to feeding people whose bowls may be empty.

“21 percent of the children in Weakley County are food insecure, don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s wrong. That’s not the way life should be,” McBeth said.

Because of this project, his students have realized that need.

“It just changes their whole approach, their whole thinking about. It’s abstract when you’re in the studio making bowls, but when you’re in the community seeing people who don’t have enough food to feed their family, have to come get free food, it just opens their minds,” McBeth said.

Empty Bowls is Saturday, November 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Student Life Center on University Street.

There will also be a soup lunch, funded and made by area churches.

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