Empty Bowls Help Feed Local Stomachs


Taylor Stone

Community members, college students, and professors gather for the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser and silent auction Oct. 19 at the Deadwood Social Club.

Community members, college students, and professors participated in the annual Empty Bowls dinner and silent auction at the Deadwood Social Club on Oct. 19.

Empty Bowls focused on bringing the community together to raise awareness about local hunger and raise money for those who are in need in and around local communities. The event also raised money for the photography club. Empty Bowls is meant for people to think locally about the issues that one hears about every day on a global scale, but fail to realize that those issues are happening right in their own towns.

The event allows participants – for a small donation of $10 – to eat soup and take home a donated handmade pottery piece while enjoying photographs displayed by the Shutter Buzz Club — a photography club at Black Hills State University — for a silent auction.

The donation goes to the Lead-Deadwood Food Bank and the Spearfish Food Bank to help feed people in the region struggling with hunger. The silent auction is a yearly fundraiser for Shutter Buzz.

This event was unique in how most fundraising events don’t give out too much to the donators, but there was an incentive for both participations in the silent auction as well as the soup dinner.

Assistant professor of mass communication Jerry Rawlings started Empty Bowls in 2004.

“Even here in South Dakota there are a lot of hungry people that can’t afford to go out and buy groceries all the time,” Rawlings said.

The event was a hit with students. BHSU mass communications student Catherine Gallagher attended the event.

“I like that it is local and it’s not like supporting somewhere you don’t know — it’s really nice to feel like you’re helping the community,” Gallagher said