Empty Bowls benefits local community shelter, pantry

Mia Wilson

UW Oskhosh students raised $835 in under two hours for the Empty Bowls event held in the Titan Underground on Wednesday.

Empty Bowls is a grassroots organization aiding in the fight to end hunger. The organization has been around since 1990, making this its 26th anniversary.

The event hosted lunch from 11:30-1:30 p.m. There, the participants were able to pick out either a $5 bowl or a $10 bowl crafted by UW Oshkosh art students. The bowls served as a donation to the Day by Day Warming Shelter and the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry.

The OACP serves as a food pantry but is also trying to build awareness and educate those within the community.

UWO senior and Community Outreach Development Coordinator McKenzie Valenta got involved through the business administration center.

Valenta said she wanted people to walk away with a sense of fulfillment by participating in the event.

“I know it may seem that by making a $5 donation or a $10 donation that it’s not a huge help, but really, our organization thrives off of donations like that,” Valenta said.

Some college students find it difficult to set aside money for organizations like this due to financial instability.

Terri Green, the executive director of the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry, said even if you can’t afford to give much money, a little goes a long way.

“For every dollar that’s donated to the pantry, we can buy five pounds of food through our partnership with Feeding America,” Green said.

She also said that on December 22, the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry, UWO, Feeding America and several other sponsors will have a mobile pantry on campus that will be at the Kolf Sports Center. The Pantry will be open to the public and anybody in need of food.

Sue Xiong, Graduate Advisor for Student Leadership Involvement said students can donate their time through joining Titan Volunteers.

“I don’t think it’s always about the money,” Xiong said. “Titan Volunteers is a great way to get involved.”

Sophomore Natalie Heidenreich said she felt fulfilled after attending the event.

“It was really neat to see people from all over Oshkosh, even those not students, come out to check out the wide assortment of pottery and have delicious soup all while helping to bring an end to world hunger,” Heidenreich said.