UNITY, Maine — For the 16th time in as many years, Unity College is putting on a soup dinner to raise money for a pair of local food pantries, which could use the boost, according to organizers.
The Empty Bowls dinner will be held 5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts, where diners will select to take home bowls made by local artists and student potters before filling them with turkey or vegetarian soup.
“It’s a fantastic community-building event. People come from all around to see each other and celebrate the fact that they come out to do something bigger than any one of us,” said event organizer Jennifer Olin, who works as the Unity College community-based learning coordinator.
Last year the event raised $2,400. This year Olin hopes to do as well, with proceeds from the dinner being split between the Volunteer Regional Food Pantry in Unity and the People for People food distribution program in Belfast.
“Waldo County has a fairly high food-insecure population, and people in western Waldo County do not access some of the social programs available in other areas,” she said. “Our regional food pantry serves 10 towns, and they have a big job to do. This is a nice way for us to help contribute to the work those folks do 12 months out of the year.”
Mark Tardif, a spokesman for the college, said professors have researched food insecurity in the area and found that the need is high.
Tardif also said this event matches up with one of the college’s core missions.
“Community service is right in our mission statement. It’s a core value all Unity College students learn,” he said Friday. “We are a college that sprang up from the community, that’s why community service is part of who we are.”
He said first-year students, and others, will help serve the bread-and-soup meal.
The suggested donation is $15.