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Art and food to come together to aid the hungry

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls

April 22, 2013 By Bill Parry

A Long Island City restaurant and a local pottery center have joined forces to raise funds to help combat New York City hunger.

Manducatis Rustica, the Italian eatery located at 46-33 Vernon Bld., is hosting a fundraiser on April 24th where participants will be asked to donate $25 toward ‘Here’s Life Inner City’, which supplies food to soup kitchens and pantries throughout the five boroughs.

Participants who donate $25 will receive a handmade soup bowl—created by potters at the LIC-based BrickHouse Ceramic Arts Center—that will be filled with soup.

The handmade soup bowls were produced by volunteers in preparation of the event.

The concept of creating a soup bowl in the name of charity was inspired by Empty Bowls, an international grass-roots organization that raises awareness of world hunger.

“The bowl is to remind you that you’ve contributed to helping the hungry,” said Ellen Day, the director of BrickHouse, which is located at 10-34 44th Drive. “It reminds you that there are empty bowls throughout the world.”

Day invited the community to come to Brickhouse to make a bowl for the event on March 9th. “Over 250 people showed up and made over 300 bowls in three hours,” Day said, adding, “It was quite remarkable.”

Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, the owner of Manducatis Rustica was pleasantly surprised by the big turnout. “I went to make a bowl and I couldn’t get in,” she said. “It brought tears to my eyes that so many people came out.”

Clint Owens, the director of Here’s Life Inner City (9-11 44th Dr.), brought his three children to make bowls at the BrickHouse.

“It was spectacular, jam packed,” Owens said, adding that he enjoyed seeing senior citizens working alongside children in making the bowls.

The benefit at Manducatis Rustica will take place on Wednesday from 5-8pm.

Cerbone-Teoli is expecting more than 300 people to attend.

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