In 1990, a high school art teacher in Michigan wanted to address the problem of hunger.
The teacher and his students searched for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal.
Now, communities all over the United States as well as in other countries are sponsoring the events. The money raised goes directly to feeding people in need.
On Saturday, the Emergency Care Help Organization, or ECHO, will hold its own Empty Bowls Charity at the Winthrop Pole Barn in Riverview's Winthrop Town Center from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at echofl.org.
Empty Bowls may have started in Michigan and grown into an international grass roots movement, but the hunger problems facing the world also impact the Brandon area.
It is estimated that one in six children suffers from a food deficiency in Brandon. ECHO wants to get the information out to the community and raise money to further aide in a resolution.
"Of course, we want to raise awareness of hunger in the community, but we also want people to know that they can volunteer their time," said ECHO executive director Stacey Efaw.
Efaw added that people can work at a food pantry or leave a box at work to collect food.
The event provides you with a bowl of soup, bread, water and dessert, as well as a handmade bowl for the cost of a ticket. The bowl symbolizes having nothing to eat, serves as a reminder to be thankful and to give back when you can.
The groups that put these events together typically utilize schools in the community and have children make the bowls as part of an art project. The children know the purpose of the bowl and embrace the spirit of giving. They may be too young to fully understand the depth of the problem, but they are touched when they hear there are so many children just like them without food.
They want to do something.
For more information, call (813) 685-0935.