New to this year's Bowls of Hope event on Dec. 2 are wooden bowls made by the Sarasota Woodturners.
For 16 years, All Faiths Food Bank has been helping fight hunger through Bowls of Hope, an annual event where hundreds of
community members come together to savor soup from local restaurants and take home a handmade bowl. The bowl they choose serves as a reminder of the empty bowls they help to fill.
All Faiths Food Bank distributes food to families in Sarasota and De Soto counties.
According to the organization, 33% of families in Sarasota County can’t afford to struggle to afford basic necessities like food.
Local artisans and potters donate about 1,500 bowls for Bowls of Hope every year.
“We could not do this event without our bowl-makers,” said All Faiths Community Engagement Manager Elaina Mand. “They are the heart and soul of it.”
This year, attendees will get to select ceramic bowls made by potters from Carla’s Clay, Stillpoint Studio Creating Art and Venice Art Center and schools across Sarasota County. New to this year’s event will be 300 wooden bowls made by artisans from the Sarasota Woodturners, a club with more than 140 members that turns wood into works of art.
“We have a tradition of giving back to the community, and this seemed like something everyone in the club could be involved with,” said Woodturners President Russ Fellows. “We wanted to support the cause knowing how much there is a need for the food and services that All Faiths provide.”
The bowls are first made by cutting parts of a tree into “bowl blanks,” which are blocks of wood that are then placed on a lathe, a machine that rotates and spins the bowl blank into the desired shape of a bowl.
Fellows said bowls are the Sarasota Woodturners primary product, but they also make other items that they donate to the community such as wooden wig stands for cancer patients and pens for military veterans.
“Each year, people are really excited to pick out their bowls,” said Mand. “We get people who come early and wait in line to be the first people to select that special bowl."