Crafting bowls for Food Bank

Bowls donated by LMC


Spencer Batute

Ceramics student Tammie Lurley, who is donating bowls to the Empty Bowls event, crafts a ceramic bowl in the Art Department Oct. 3.

Spencer Batute, @BatuteSpencer

Spencer Batute
Art Professor Lucy Snow places handcrafted ceramic bowls onto shelf in Art Department to prepare for the Empty Bowls event.

The Los Medanos College Art Department is donating more than 100 ceramic bowls to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano for their annual Empty Bowls event, which takes place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 12 in Fairfield and Oct. 13 in Concord.

The event invites the public to receive a meal in a handcrafted ceramic bowl, largely in courtesy of LMC, in an effort to raise awareness for hunger in the community. During the two-hour event, participants will receive a tour of the Food Bank’s warehouse and listen to speakers talk about the organization, resources offered by the Food Bank and methods in which people can volunteer to fight hunger.

The bowls, which are made from reclaimed clay that isn’t used in the crafting process by students in ceramics classes, are crafted by instructors, instructional aides and students alike.

Although LMC is the event’s biggest bowl donor, the event is made possible by contributions from a large number of other organizations within the community, including local artists, schools and clubs.

“I really enjoy this event because it takes the community to do it all,” said Renée Baptiste, Food Bank Special Events Manager.

The ceramics department first partnered with the Food Bank for their Empty Bowls project in 2014, and has since donated between 75 and 100 handcrafted bowls each year.

“It’s kind of letting the community knows it [LMC] shows up,” said ceramics professor Lucy Snow, who has been leading LMC’s involvement with the Empty Bowls event since it started in 2014.

Mary Vargas, an instructional aide for the ceramics classes, has helped out with the Empty Bowls event for a number of years. She is participating this year by making all the glazes for the bowls.

“One of the things that’s great about the college is being able to give back to the community,” said Vargas.

When ceramics student Tammie Lurley first heard of a similar Empty Bowls event outside of LMC, she thought, “Oh wow, I really wish we could do something like that here.”

Not long after, Lurley saw an empty bowl in the ceramics classroom with a note describing the event to students. That same day, she decided to make eight bowls to contribute to the Food Bank’s event.

“I think it will be the first of many times I make bowls for something like this,” said Lurley.

The Food Bank is also a partner with LMC’s Food Pantry, supplying foods like breads and pastas as well as raising awareness for the Food Pantry on campus.

Currently, both Empty Bowls events are sold out, but you can contact [email protected] to put your name on a waitlist or donate raffle items.