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Empty Bowls event raises money for hungry Butte school kids

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Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 11:07:36-04

BUTTE — One of the Mining City’s biggest fundraisers is about to kick off. For over a decade, the Empty Bowls program has been raising money to feed hungry school kids in Butte, and organizers say this is one heck of a party.

“It’s one of my favorite days of the year. It’s absolutely enjoyable to see all the people down there, see all the pottery,” said Hungry Hill Center for the Arts Director Mike Kujawa.

The Butte Civic Center is expected to be packed with hundreds of people and will pick from more than 1,300 handcrafted bowls made by local artists. Participants will get to sample soup made from many different restaurants around town. The event raised money for the city’s Backpack Program that provides any student with enough food to have over the weekend during the school year.

“It’s really important for them to have their nutrition over the weekend so they can come back to school Monday and not be hungry, and it’s just a great program,” said Butte Emergency Food Bank Director Lorraine Hamry.

Dozens of artists volunteered their time making bowls since last August for the Empty Bowls event.

“They did very well, they did very well; some of our new potters are coming on very strong. There’s different qualities, but every bowl’s special,” said Kujawa.

The event is expected to raise about $50,000 for the Backpack Program, which is an important fundraiser to keep it going.

“When we started this program, they only cost about $3 a backpack, and now they’re up close to $7, so it’s very important to keep these coming all year long,” said Hamry.

The event is Wednesday, April 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Butte Emergency Food Bank or at the Civic Center.