Empty Bowl Project Raises Record Amount for Local Food Bank


Empty Bowl Project

Students present the Statesboro Food Bank with their proceeds from the 2012 Empty Bowl Project

A record $3,930 was raised for the Statesboro Food Bank during Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art’s (BFSDoArt) annual chili bowl sale on Thursday, October 18. Hundreds of beautiful, handcrafted bowls were sold in just three hours during the sale in conjunction with the department’s Empty Bowl Project.

“The sale was a great success,” said Project Coordinator and Ceramics Professor Jeff Schmuki. “This is the largest amount that this event has ever raised, and I am proud of the students for their hard work.”

An annual event, the chili bowl sale took place at the Rotunda on Georgia Southern’s campus. Handmade bowls were filled with chili and sold for a $10 donation. The patrons kept the bowls as a reminder of those in need in Statesboro and Bulloch County. The sale was a part of the BFSDoArt’s Empty Bowl Project, where in the weeks leading up to the sale, ceramic students prepared nearly twenty bowls each.  The ceramic studio was also opened up to the community to demonstrate and teach the art of throwing bowls.

“This project is about those less fortunate, and the larger picture is that it takes the community coming together to make a difference and solve issues like hunger,” said Schmuki.

Operations Director of the Statesboro Food Bank Joe Bill Brannon excitedly accepted the donation check from the students this week. “This is, I believe, the largest single donation ever made to the Statesboro Food Bank,” Brannon announced. “This money is a big deal for us!”

Brannon explained that monetary donations to the food bank have decreased this year, while the need for their services has only continued to rise. “We have families that were able to donate to us last year, that are now in financial constraints and in need our services this year,” he explained. The money raised by the Empty Bowl Project will purchase over 18,000 cans of food, which according to Brannon is nearly a two-month supply for the Food Bank. “This is a much needed donation,” he added.

The Statesboro Food Bank is the largest food supplier in this area. Brannon explained that they even assist surrounding counties in locating food donations when that county’s supplies are running low. He attributes much of the continued success and sustainability of the Statesboro Food Bank to Georgia Southern University. “Not another county near us can come close to the what we have at the Statesboro Food Bank and much of that is thanks to Georgia Southern University,” he said. Brannon explained that not only the economic impact of the University, but also the generosity of the students and faculty with both their time and donations of canned food help drive the food bank. For more information about the Statesboro Food Bank or to donate call (912) 489-3663 or email Brannon at

The 2012 Empty Bowl Project was sponsored in part by Statesboro Lions Club and Georgia Southern University’s Catering Services.

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Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • PO Box 8032 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5358 • • (map)