Creative community helps feed homeless at annual Empty Bowl fundraising event

Pottery artist Marie Ford and her peers are making ceramics bowls for the St. Vincent de Paul CARES 8th Annual Empty Bowl fundraising event.  For $25 patrons get a bowl and soup to eat. The money they raise is used to feed the homeless. 

"One hundred percent of the proceeds go straight back to our food center and straight back, and it allows us to provide food throughout the year," Michael Raposa, CEO St. Vincent de Paul CARES said.  

The initiative makes a big impact in the lives of those in need. 

"We do about 400 to 600 meals per day, 365 days a year, and that's breakfast, lunch and dinner," added Raposa. 

The effort is sponsored by the Clay Center, a full-service ceramic studio.  

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"We have the city of St. Pete, our rec centers that donate bowls, individuals that have studios in their home donate bowls," Lyn Vanvoorst, Owner Clay Center said. "So it's not just the Clay Center, it's a whole community that comes together, really." 

They have artists come in and make the bowls for free to sell at the event. 

"The really, really cool thing is, if you love art like I love art, it's an incredible way to collect a whole bunch of great early Christmas presents and incredible pieces of artwork for your house," explained Raposa. Kaytea Budd-Brophy travels from England just to help make the bowls. 

"I think we all need to give something back. It doesn't hurt to give a little bit of your time to do something that helps other people." 

The event takes place on March 5. 

LINK: Learn more about Empty Bowls here.