Empty Bowls to fill children’s stomachs
by Mark Andrews
Sep 15, 2013 | 1195 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Cartersville Civic Center from noon to 3 p.m., residents will have the opportunity to purchase a locally crafted, handmade bowl for $20 filled with soup from local restaurants all while contributing to the BackPack Buddies weekend feeding program for students.

“I compare it to Taste of Cartersville ... and 100 percent of the money raised goes to BackPack Buddies,” event coordinator Jayme Laney, a White Elementary School art teacher and Cass Middle School soccer coach, said, adding the goal of the event is to raise $10,000 through the sale of 500 bowls. “Our target audience is the after-church crowd based on the fact that a lot of our church organizations are in charge of BackPack Buddies.”

The BackPack Buddies program operates by having churches, Parent Teacher Organizations and community groups each week deliver donated food items to a school in their community based on the BackPack Buddies menu.

The items should provide for two breakfast meals, two lunch meals, three dinner meals and two snacks, which could include Ramen noodles, fruit snacks and beanie-weenies.

Bartow County Homeless Liaison Kelly Whitmire said the menu is a suggestion derived from the national campaign and can be tweaked within the nutritional guidelines, costing about $5 to $7 a child for the weekend.

Churches or individuals schools then pack the bags and send students home from school on Fridays with food items to supplement their nutrition.

Laney said it’s rewarding to see the event grow in success as it serves students he sees on a daily basis.

“Our first [event], we had the goal of selling 300 bowls ... and we sold out the first year,” Laney said. “Last year, our total was over $10,660.”

The handcrafted bowls are not only being made by Laney, but by local high school students and other potters as well.

Laney said typical menu items this year will include soup, stew, baked ziti, bread, soft drinks, tea, coffee and a baked dessert.

For more information and tickets, contact Laney at 770-546-4796. Tickets also can be purchased from Gail Freeman at Spring Place Pottery, 770-383-9910, and from Whitmire, 770-606-5800, extension 5326, or at kelly.whitmire@bartow.k12.ga.us.