Bay Ridge Empty Bowls event comes back full circle

The Bay Ridge community has come full circle with its most recent Empty Bowls event to feed the hungry, held at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church (6753 Fourth Avenue) on Saturday, May 6.

A grassroots movement by everyone from potters to painters in the local community, this year’s Empty Bowls event premiered handmade pieces with original designs, all of them for sale for charity. This year’s fundraiser brought in over 200 people and raised $3,400 in total.

“All the money we raised, every single penny, will help feel hungry people in the neighborhood,” said co-organizer Ed Huml, who noted that the effort takes time and is also made possible by co-organizers like Deirdre Laughton and Danielle Bullock.

An artist by trade, Huml also teaches pottery and woodworking in Bay Ridge.

His best guess was that he sculpted at least 20 bowls for the event on his own time, a highly time consuming process that requires preparing clay, time spent firing the item in a kiln and glazing. Bowls this year were also donated by two studios in Manhattan: La Mano Pottery and Mud Matters.

Sold at $25 a piece, this years success brings the total raised in the five years since the event’s inception in 2013 to over $10,000 dollars, all of which has gone to a community food pantry, as well as a lunch program for another church in Bay Ridge.

As for its organization? It all happens by word of mouth, where the three organizers ask their friends to come out and help the community. The national non-profit allows anyone to hold their own Empty Bowls event if they choose to, ensuring the opportunity for others to be able to feed the hungry.

The hungry, in Huml’s eyes, means everyone from the homeless to the under-served elderly people on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). He remembered an experience he had hearing that a Meals on Wheels effort provided lunches to elderly people, some of which had nothing else to eat that day.

In terms of hopes for the company, Huml said he hoped “just to continue this next year. Same time around May.”

The Saturday afternoon event took place from 12 to 3 p.m.

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