According to Franck Johannesen, who founded Sarasota Woodturners, there are only so many uses for woodturning, as eventually people run out of family members in need of handcrafted bowls.
That's where an event like the Bowls of Hope fundraiser for All Faiths Food Bank comes in, he said.
Finding homes for the artisanal bowls is just one way the event helps fill empty bowls in the community.
"You have to have something for people to do, that makes them think there’s value in it,” he said. “This organization is trying to get food to people in need, who can’t afford it.”
Held for its 17th year on Dec. 3 at Ed Smith Stadium, the event is the food bank’s largest fundraiser of the year.
The event allowed attendees to enjoy soups, gumbo, pastas and more from over 30 vendors, in honor of the bowls the food bank helps to fill. It also featured bowls from local artisans for sale, including ceramic and wooden ones, along with crafting demonstrations.
Attendee Valerie Hunt said she was glad to have her bowl as one of the items lining the walkway of the stadium. When she created it through an Adult & Community Enrichment class, she had not expected it to go towards a greater purpose.
“It was fun; it was a first for me,” said Hunt.
“This is awesome,” said attendee Pauline Kodack.
Kodack said thanks to her time on the board of the State College of Florida, which saw her helping with the college's annual scholarship luncheon, she saw the importance of the food bank for students and other people in the community.
Nina Harrelson, director of strategic communications at All Faiths Food Bank, said the organization hopes to raise about $100,000 to help provide 3.6 million meals this holiday season.