Flat Rock Backpack Program presents “Empty Bowls”

Press release from the Episcopal Church of Saint John in the Wilderness:

For the fourth year, local pottery artists are firing their kilns to help hungry children in the greater Flat Rock area.  On Sunday, March 29,  EMPTY BOWLS, a community meal benefitting the Flat Rock Backpack Program, will take place inside the Parish Hall at The Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 1905 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock.

There are three seatings with suggested reservations, 12:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.


Tickets are $25 per person or $50 for a family of two adults and children under 12 years old.

Each ticket includes one hand-crafted bowl (all donated by area potters) and a soup-based meal (a variety of soups, breads and desserts). Tickets will be available beginning Monday, March 2 at St. John in the Wilderness Parish House Office, from Backpack team members or at the door on the day of the event. For more information, call 828-693-9783. Credit cards are accepted; checks should be made out to SJIW, noting Empty Bowls.

Please join us for this fun community event. Donations are gratefully accepted throughout the year.

Flat Rock Backpack Program: Each week during the school year, volunteers gather at Hubba Hubba Smokehouse on Friday mornings to pack between 150-180 grocery bags of food; nourishment for area nursery and school age children identified as those in need of weekend food.  Food includes oatmeal, tinned meat, rice, pasta, beans, vegetables and fruit. To do this, volunteers buy food and supplies (with supplemental food from Manna), organize packing, pack, and then deliver bags to the schools where the administration slips the bags into backpacks for discreet delivery home (when there is a home). Annually, the group buys for, and packs approximately 6,000 backpacks which cost about 22 thousand dollars.  Neighbors from throughout the community donate their time while Saint John in the Wilderness acts as the ‘home’ base providing technical and administrative assistance (including 501c3 status).  To meet our budget, we rely on corporate and individual donations, and our local pottery artists, pivotal partners, who generously donate their time and talents for this annual fundraiser.

Empty Bowls was started over 25 years ago in Michigan as a high school service project. The goal is to address hunger needs in local communities. The event concept is a simple one. The community is invited to a meal of soup, bread and dessert (donated by local businesses and organizations). As part of the admission fee, the ticket holders choose a handmade bowl (crafted/donated by local artists) to take home as a thank you gift. The bowl serves as a reminder that, as long as children in our community go hungry, we will help.

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