Empty Bowls fills empty bellies


The third annual Empty Bowls, a fun event for everyone in the community, occurred this past Saturday in downtown Monroe. At Empty Bowls, attendees bought $40 ticket to get a decorated bowl and an entry to eat food from different vendors.

With a designed bowl, attendees could taste food from multiple vendors like Newk’s, Taste of India and Willie’s Food Truck. Attendees also had the option of paying a $20 admission fee and eating from small cups provided by the vendors.

However, these decorated bowls were special; they were designed by ULM art students and local artists. The bowls were all different shapes, sizes and colors. There were around 325 bowls made by ULM art students and        local artists.

Sarah Hoffman, the external communications officer for the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, shared that many different artists around the community created a variety of bowls. There were ceramic bowls, wooden bowls and even bowls made out of vinyl records.

Alyssa Guidry, a local artist and ULM alumna, shared that she was asked to demonstrate how to make ceramic bowls at the first Empty Bowls event. Guidry loved participating in the event and has demonstrated at Empty Bowls ever since.

While these bowls are an important part of the Empty Bowls event, the main point is to help the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana.

“This event was created by artists to use their skills to help raise awareness and funds to fight hunger,” Hoffman said.

Ray Fussell, a ULM alumnus, shared that he was a big supporter of local charities like the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana. He said this event was a good way to support them while having a great time.

Not only did Empty Bowls have food, but also live music, face paint, a live painter, a photo booth, games and an auction. There was something fun for everyone he attended the event.

Fussell shared that his favorite part of the event was the live music.   

Events like Empty Bowls also help those who don’t usually venture outside of ULM campus understand that Monroe is a great community with even better people.

“[Empty Bowls] is a great way to get a taste for different elements of Monroe… It’s a great way to network with people in the community,” said Vanelis Rivera, a ULM English instructor.

If you missed out on Empty Bowls this year, don’t worry. Empty Bowls is going to be an annual event held by The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, according to Hoffman.

“Look forward to next year. It’s gonna be even bigger and better,” Hoffman said.