The first ever Stokes County Arts Council Soup in a Bowl event was nothing but a success drawing 365 hungry people to Hanging Rock State Park to pick out a hand crafted bowl, share soup with friends and contribute to helping three local food pantries feed the hungry this winter.
“It was a huge, huge success,”said Stokes County Arts Council Director Eddy McGee, “and right at the right time for the outreach ministries. There was a need there and we were glad to fill it.”
Participants in the Soup in a Bowl event paid $15 for a hand crafted pottery bowl filled with their choice of five different soups prepared by culinary students at local high schools.
The hand crafted bowls were made by local high school art instructors Phil Jones and Thad Cox.
“They are really beautiful bowls,” McGee said, explaining that the idea for the event had been the result of conversations between him and Jones. “Phil, who is the art teacher at South Stokes High School, and I had talked about trying to do an event with pottery bowls. We wanted an event where we were using art and culinary talents from our local high schools to do something to benefit the food pantries. Phil called Thad at West Stokes and got him to help with making the bowls.”
The Arts Council purchased the clay and glazes for the bowls, the ingredients for the soups, and started working with other organizations like the Cooperative Extension to pull the event together.
Students in the North and West Stokes high school Food/Consumer Science Classes made the soup, local girl scouts volunteered to help serve guests and other volunteers from the Stokes Early College helped man stew pots at the event.
“The Arts Council is combining arts for community service, similar to what we did with the Meaning of Our Tears,” said McGee. “We are using the arts to benefit the community.”
McGee said the Arts Council also contacted local businesses asking for donations for the three county food pantries.
“Food Lion stepped up big,” he said. “They donated over 3,200 pounds of canned food which we divided among the three outreach ministries. Family Dollar also donated $500 in gift cards.”
McGee said they had about 100 bowls left over from the event which will be on sale in the Apple Gallery for $20 each, with all proceeds going to the local food pantries.
“We are hoping to be able to give between $2,000 and $2,500 to each of the outreach ministries,” he said. “The arts are about more than just the arts up here. We have helped with domestic violence and now we are helping to feed the hungry.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.