This year’s much-anticipated Empty Bowls fundraising event helped raise $2,901 for the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church food pantry.
Residents from Bay Ridge and Sunset Park came to support the worthy cause on Saturday, May 4, buying beautiful, one-of-a-kind hand-painted bowls, with all the proceeds benefiting the Community Food Pantry at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, which helps feed hundreds of hungry people within the community.
“The Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church has been running a food pantry in this community for as long as I can remember,” said Danielle Bullock, co-organizer of the event.
“The food pantry is really filling in an essential need that other places are not,” noted Bullock. “Many people are living with food insecurity in Bay Ridge, and it’s sort of a hidden community that we don’t talk about or know about. So Empty Bowls is an event that not only brings artists and community people together to do something creative for the common good, but also is a project that brings awareness of what food insecurity really is in this community and how we can do a lot of different kinds of things to help people who just don’t know if they’re going to be able to put food on the table from week to week.”
Bullock added, “We’re living in an era where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer and that goes for communities like Bay Ridge just as much as it does anywhere else.”
Ed Huml, who co-founded the program with Bullock and his wife Deirdre Laughton, told this paper that since starting the program it has raised over $12,000.
This year, donations were received from Gasworks NYC at 673 Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park, and La Mano Pottery at 110 West 26th Street and Mud Matter at 654 10th Avenue in Manhattan.
“In addition to all the pots that Deirdre and I make, we have artist friends who come and decorate and put the glazing on them,” said Huml. “Everybody’s got to do something so this is what we do to give back.”
Bullock, Huml and Laughton have been overseeing the program since 2013.
“It’s been a gift to do this,” Laughton added.
While shopping for a bowl at the event, state Sen. Andrew Gounardes told this paper, “I’ve been coming to support the Empty Bowls project for the last couple of years. It’s such a great way to help give back to the community but also take something home for yourself, your family or your loved ones,” added Gounardes. “I think combining the two like they do here is really such a terrific act of service for the neighborhood and I’m glad to support it.
Photos by Arthur de Gaeta
Photos by Denise Alexander