Empty Bowls Dinner at U of M, Crookston Reminder of Suffering Caused by Hunger; Dinner to take place Tuesday, November 16, 2010, from 5-7 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center

In the United States, it is the season of giving thanks for the abundance so many enjoy, pottery.jpgbut for others, it is only a gnawing reminder of the suffering caused by hunger. A project at the University of Minnesota, Crookston will provide a way to help those who suffer and to remember the many empty bowls there are in this country and around the world.

An Empty Bowls Dinner, a combination service learning and community service project, is slated for Tuesday, November 16, 2010, from 5-7 p.m. The dinner, to be held in Bede Ballroom, brings to fruition a project that began more than a year ago under the direction of Lisa Loegering, assistant director of service learning. Tickets for the event are $15 and available at the Krazy Kiln in Crookston, at the 2nd floor administrative desk in the Sargeant Student Center, or at the door.
EmptyBowls_20100327_048.jpgStudents in a pottery class at the U of M, Crookston taught by Assistant Professor Sonia Spaeth, high school students in Gary Stegman's pottery class at the Crookston High School (CHS), along with community members joined together last spring for a "Bowl-a-thon" and "Glaze-a-thon" at the CHS.  In addition to Spaeth and Stegman, Jenn Steinbrink, artist and owner of the Krazy Kiln, collaborated to head up these events.  In about 5 hours, about 65 community members created about 200 bowls.  Some of them were thrown, some were hand-built, but each one is unique. Those who come to the dinner will take home their bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls there are in the world.

Students in the Hospitality Association Club at the U of M, Crookston will be creating the soup, bread, and dessert served at the dinner. "This event really brought together a lot of collaborators and is truly a joint effort," says Loegering. "The whole idea for the project was brought to my attention about five years ago, but there wasn't enough funding to make it happen until one of our students was awarded grant funding to help support the project."

Sophomore Katya Zepeda, Crookston, Minn., was one of two college students selected to receive a $1,000 Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) grant supporting innovative service-learning projects. Zepeda's funding helped make the Empty Bowls project a reality. An additional aspect of this project was a partnership between UMC and about 10 students from CHS.  On days when classes were released early, students were bused to UMC for some educational opportunities, and included preparing for this event.

"It took the willingness and work of Katya combined with the expertise and passion of Gary Stegman, Jenn Steinbrink and Sonia Spaeth to make this dinner happen," Loegering says. "It simply would not have been possible without them and I am very grateful."

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photos: The bowl-a-thon held last spring helped create 250 bowls for use during the Empty Bowls dinner.


Contact: Lisa Loegering, assistant director, service learning, 218-281-8526 (loege005@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)