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Community Fights Hunger Through Robbinsdale Empty Bowls Event

Bowl making will take place on Feb. 9 and 23. All bowls will be donated for an Empty Bowls fundraiser in March.

There’s no hiding it. Hunger in Minnesota is a common problem. Reports show that the number of people who go hungry in this state has doubled over the last five years. What’s more shocking? Forty percent of those who go hungry are children.

These are the realities that Minnesotans face today, but Plymouth resident Sharon Pleimling has decided to do something about it. By volunteering at Empty Bowls events in February and March, Pleimling hopes to make a difference in the lives of local families.

On Feb. 9, community members are invited to make bowls at Robbinsdale Middle School. All bowls made at the event--which begins at 10 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m.--will be sold on March 21 at an Empty Bowls event at Sandberg Learning Center. Proceeds from that day will go to PRISM and NEAR food shelves.

Pleimling said this is the second year that Robbinsdale Area Schools has worked to raise awareness for Empty Bowls. Last year, the event raised more than $10,000. This year, Pleimling hopes to raise $15,000.

“It’s a community builder,” Pleimling said of the event, “which Robbinsdale really needs.”

Empty bowls is a grassroots effort to raise awareness for hunger. According to the Empty Bowls website, the idea is that bowls made by community members will be sold to raise money for an organization that fights hunger. Bowls that are purchased stand as a reminder for people that hunger is an ongoing issue in society.

“You don’t have to buy a $150 ticket to go to some big fancy dinner to support the food shelf,” Pleimling said. “Anyone can participate.”

And so far, everyone has been involved.

Pleimling said that pottery students from Perpich Center for Arts Education, Robbinsdale Cooper High School, Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, Plymouth Middle School, Robbinsdale Middle School and Meadowbrook Elementary School have already created and donated hundreds of bowls for the March event. Kids from Cub Scout Pack 305 also donated bowls.

About 100 bowls have been donated by artists, which will be sold at a separate silent auction.

“This kind of thing really interests me because it showcases student art work a little and raises money for the people who need it,” Pleimling said.

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For more information on Empty Bowls events in February and March, go to the event website, or like the event page on Facebook.

Aileen White January 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM
This is an AWESOME event - having attended the past two years, it is wonderful to see the event growing and although not quite keeping up with the demands of hunger (for families)in our neighborhoods, attending our schools, never the less helping towards it. This is such a wonderful event with the community supporting the community we live in - helping out a neighbor/friend that you may not know you are helping - there is nothing better to keep our neighborhoods strong as families work to improve their situations, than being able to go to the food shelves of PRISM & NEAR, to keep hunger at bay for their family.
Valerie Engler January 24, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Great to hear, Aileen! I loved learning about it.

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