Homemade soup and handcrafted bowls by local potters will be the highlight at the Central Vermont Empty Bowl Benefit, a fundraiser for the Vermont Foodbank, on Sunday, February 16 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at The Mud Studio in the Red Hen complex on Route 2 in Middlesex. Those attending the event will select a ceramic bowl to take home and will be offered two choices of soup to either eat at the studio or carry out.

“We thought that if people took their empty bowl home with them, it would serve as a reminder that there are many Vermonters whose bowls are literally empty every day,” said Mike Sullivan, owner of The Mud Studio.

The studio, which is organizing and sponsoring the event, offers classes for all ages and provides gallery space for the work of local artists and craftspeople.

The Vermont Foodbank, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, distributed food to some 86,000 Vermonters in 2013 through its network of food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and youth programs.

According to Vermont Foodbank Executive Director, John Sayles, one out of 7 Vermonters struggles with food insecurity every day, including more than 25,000 children.  “We are thrilled to be partnering with The Mud Studio for this event,” said Sayles.  “These are tough times for Vermonters and every bit helps to ensure that everyone in our community has enough to eat.”

A number of businesses have already stepped up to support the event. Cabot Creamery, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Dog River Farm, Hunger Mountain Coop, North Branch Café, Pete’s Greens, Red Hen Bakery, Sarducci’s, Willow Moon Farm, and several professional area potters have all signed on to make this event a huge success for the Vermont Foodbank.

The minimum adult donation is $25, which includes a bowl, soup and accompaniments. Children under 5 are free and tickets for ages 5 to 18 are $5 for a meal only. All proceeds will go the to the Vermont Foodbank.


Central Vermont Empty Bowl Benefit


Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of more than 300 community partners – food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals, and housing sites. Food insecurity has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic, economic disruptions, and recent flooding. The Vermont Foodbank and its network have been on the front lines, working to ensure that everyone has the food they need to maintain their health. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided over 12 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.