2011-11-04 / Community

'Stamping Out Hunger, One Bite At A Time'

Empty Bowls For CHIPS Event November 12
By Howard Schwach

The “Empty Bowls Project” is a worldwide event that works to eradicate world hunger.

Brooklyn has a small piece of the pie with its Empty Bowls for CHIPS in Brooklyn event, which will be held this year on November 12, from 2 to 8 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church, 463A Seventh Street (near Seventh Avenue) in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn Potters Group has been fundraising for CHIPS for 15 years, raising money by giving bowls to people who contribute to the neighborhood food kitchen, on Fourth Avenue in Park Slope.

Event coordinators say, however, that this year’s event is more important than any of the previous fundraisers.

CHIPS is in trouble.

On Friday, September 23 the auto supply store next door to the food kitchen caught on fire.

The CHIPS dining room was packed with more than 100 people when the first fire engines arrived and many mothers with their children were upstairs at the Francis Residence.

Everyone was quickly evacuated. The five-alarm fire caused firefighters to drag hoses through the soup kitchen in order to reach the fire site. Thousands of gallons of water were poured on the fire, which raged for hours.

While there was little fire damage to CHIPS, there was heavy smoke and water damage caused by the process of putting out the fire.

Because of the fire, the soup kitchen is no longer serving hot meals and the women and children who were previously housed in the residence are now in shelters.

The kitchen still serves bag lunches and provides counselling to those who need them, however. The group very much wants to get back to its former activity, however.

That is why the facility, which served more than 70,000 meals a year and housed more than 2,000 people each year, needs the help of the Empty Bowls Project more than ever, a spokesperson for the Empty Bowls Project said recenlty.

People who attend the November 12 event will find music, poetry, story telling and more.

They can also choose from a new collection of handmade bowls, each lovingly made and contributed by a local potter.

The bowls each sell for $25, and all of the money earned from the sale of the bowls will go right to CHIPS in order to allow the vital community service organization to get back in business.

“CHIPS is the bridge between the community and its needy citizens,” says a Bowls Project spokesperson. “Volunteers from churches, temples, schools and community groups work at CHIPS on a regular basis. It is truly a community-building and consciousness raising program that we have been honored to support in the past and continue to support today.”

Those interested in further information or who want to donate to CHIPS should call 718-636-8608.

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