Georgia Southern University

Art Students Aim to Fight Hunger through Empty Bowl Project

The Georgia Southern community will soon have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy a bowl of chili while also helping those in need during the annual Empty Bowl Project hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art.

The annual service project, set for Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Russell Union Rotunda, is held to raise money for the Statesboro Food Bank. Ceramics students work year-round under the direction of ceramics professor Jeff Schumki to create unique bowls filled with chili that are sold for $10 each with all proceeds going to the Food Bank.


“Hunger is something we don’t necessarily see, but just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there,” Schmuki said. “So this project isn’t just about making bowls, but beginning a conversation and bringing awareness to people in a new and creative way.”

Last year the project raised nearly $4,000, and for every dollar donated, the Food Bank is able to provide the equivalent of seven meals to someone in need. Director of the Food Bank, Joe Bill Brannon, said they provide meals to families in Bulloch and surrounding counties, and also will provide food to any Georgia Southern student who truly needs it.

“Just from the Georgia Southern Empty Bowl Project, we are able to give out a seven day supply of balanced food for about four months,” said Brannon. “I can’t over praise the Empty Bowl Project enough. Since it’s been going, we’ve come to depend on it more because our monetary donations have decreased, and as long as our economy stays in this situation, we’ll need it more than ever.”

Graduate student Eric Clark has enjoyed working with the project for three years and believes the project allows students to get creative in service.

“I think it is a unique opportunity to give back through art, which is an interesting concept. We know the importance of helping others when we’re able to, but doing that through artwork is a unique experience to learn and be a part of,” Clark said.

The project is also made possible through efforts from the Lions Club of Statesboro and Kiwanis Club of Statesboro.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

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