Empty Bowls provide food for hungry kids

CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - Local artists are helping fight hunger in the Keweenaw.

"Children go hungry and we want to try to give them food," says Violet Lareaux, Empty Bowls’ child-spokesperson and Calumet Art Center volunteer.

Approximately 200 children in Houghton and Keweenaw counties are at risk of going hungry at home.

While many of these children receive free meals at school, there is still a serious risk of hunger during the weekend.

31 Backpacks works to fill that gap by providing backpacks of food for children in need to take home.

"We prefer cash over food donations because we have bigger buying power than everybody else does. We buy from the food banks,” says 31 Backpacks Cofounder Melissa Maki, “So if you're buying a box of mac 'n' cheese for $1.29 I can get eight of them for the same amount of money."

The Calumet Art Center is working with 31 Backpacks to raise money this summer with the Empty Bowls project.

The Empty Bowls Soup Luncheon was held today at Michigan House in Calumet.

Customers who purchased a hand-made bowl for $20 received a bowl of soup donated by Michigan House.

"The Calumet Art Center has worked for several years on the Empty Bowls project and fighting hunger,” says Bonny Lynn, Calumet Art Center board of directors’ assistant, “Several years ago we did a big event and this year we decided that we wanted to work with the 31 backpacks in supporting their endeavors to feed the hungry in the community."

The bowls are hand-crafted by Calumet Art Center staff and friends.

The goal is to sell 700 bowls by the end of October.

Bowls are available for purchase at the Calumet Art Center and Century 21 in Houghton behind Culvers.

More information is available at 31backpacks.com.