‘Empty Bowls’ fundraiser in Wilton Oct. 23

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‘Mushroom’ bowl, one of the pieces in the Empty Bowls fundraiser. (Photo provided.)

WILTON – Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too and Belle Creative Arts Center are coming together to host a charity event in support of the Wilton Area Food Pantry. On October 23, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too on Route 2 in Wilton, come enjoy delicious soup and buy locally handcrafted bowls, all for the benefit of the local food pantry!

Vera Johnson, owner of Belle Creative Arts Center, recently invited the community to come make bowls at her newly finished pottery studio in Wilton, with a suggested $20 donation. She decided to give half of the proceeds to the Wilton Area Food Pantry.

For six weeks, locals were welcome to come to Belle Creative Arts Center on Monday nights and make pinch-pot pottery bowls. Some people came back every week and there was always food to share. The results were better than Johnson had expected; seventy bowls were made and $260 raised so far. After this success, Johnson wondered how she could continue to benefit the food pantry.

“I immediately thought of my friend Mary, who owns a restaurant, Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too,” Johnson said. “It was a 5 minute decision.”

Brightly colored, one-of-a-kind bowls are available for purchase. (Photo provided.)

The bowls made at those workshops will be available for purchase at the event, starting with a suggested $25 donation to the cause. Each bowl is one-of-a-kind with a range of styles and handmade by volunteers.

Soups made by Mary and Don Beane of Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too will include curried apple squash, clam chowder, black bean, ham and pea, and sausage kale. There will also be salad, a bread basket, and iced tea, along with other beverages available for purchase.

Empty Bowls is a grassroots movement created by artists and craftspeople that combines handmade bowls with warming soups to raise money for local food-related charities. Empty Bowls events are put on all around the world and the movement has raised millions of dollars to fight hunger.

Johnson participated in many of these events when she lived in Seattle, Washington. Johnson and her wide network of local artists would put on a yearly holiday event of open studio tours. They successfully used Empty Bowls to raise money for food pantries during these events, so Johnson thought to bring the idea to Wilton.

The goal with this event is to raise as much money as possible to donate to the local Wilton food pantry.

“Money is always helpful because they can purchase what’s not donated to supplement needs,” Johnson said. “And the ‘bringing people together’ for soup seems a warm and comfy way to give back.”

Donations can be dropped off at Salt & Pepper and Sugar Too for those who wish to contribute but cannot attend the event.

Johnson and Beane hope to make a difference in the lives of their fellow community members this season, and in the years to come. They would like to put on this event annually.

Johnson just hopes there is enough soup!

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