What You Can Do to Fight Hunger in Bay Ridge

Empty Bowls Bay Ridge
Empty Bowls from 2013, courtesy the website

This Saturday, May 2, the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church (6753 Fourth Avenue) will host the third annual Empty Bowls Bay Ridge, 12pm-5pm, at which local artists and craftspeople will sell handmade bowls for $25, all proceeds from which support the church’s food pantry. We spoke with an organizer, Danielle Bullock, about the event, and what you can do to help—even if you’re not around this weekend!

Is hunger a problem in Bay Ridge?
Food insecurity is certainly a problem in New York City, and Bay Ridge is no exception. There are many people in our community—such as the homeless, working poor and fixed-income seniors of all backgrounds—who need help.

Why bowls?
An empty bowl is a symbol and a reminder of the many people around the world, and not just in our community, who are chronically living without enough to eat.

Where do they come from? Are they fine-art objects, or functional dishes?
[Co-organizer] Ed Huml and I are both potters. We create blank bowls that others can decorate. In doing this, we bring local artists into the process. This kind of group effort toward something both creative and humanitarian builds a stronger community. We have also received donations of bowls from other Brooklyn potters, as well as from La Mano Studio and StilClay@601 Studio.

The bowls are functional objects, but are very beautiful as well.

Where does the money go?
The money we raise supports the Community Food Pantry at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Pastor David Aja-Sigmon serves hundreds of people in our community living with food insecurity.

What else can people expect on Saturday?
There will also be activities for children, refreshments and music by local musicians: Children’s Chorus of Bay Ridge, Valerie Gates & Friends, Zafer Tawil, Secretly Famous and Bobby Other.

If people can’t come on Saturday, are there other ways they can still get involved with the cause locally?
Pastor David is always in need of food and cash donations to the pantry. He relies heavily on community support to keep his cupboards stocked. Contact the church at (718) 836-0681 for more information about how to get involved.

Follow Hey Ridge on Twitter @heyridgebk

Vincent Gentile with an Empty Bowl
Vinnie Bowls, courtesy Empty Bowls Bay Ridge