Defiance College Empty Bowls event breaks fundraising record

May 9, 2019

Twenty people dressed nicely, standing in a line and smiling at the camera.DEFIANCE, Ohio - This year's Empty Bowls sponsored by the Defiance College Social Work Organization donated a record-breaking $7,000 to the PATH Center to combat hunger in Northwest Ohio. The 19th annual student-led event was held in March, and this year's proceeds are more than $1,200 above last year's donation.

Empty Bowls has grown in interest over the years with high attendance by area residents. Held at the Defiance Knights of Columbus Hall, restaurants and individuals make and donate a variety of soups and breads included in the dinner menu, with soup served in handmade bowls.

This year's bowls, made by Defiance College alumnus Brandon Knott of It's Knott Pottery, were a sell-out, with more than 650 purchased. Diners are encouraged to continue using these one-of-a-kind bowls as a reminder of those who their donations will serve.

Members of the DC Social Work Organization, comprised of junior social work majors and advised by Professor Tess Salisbury, hosted a reception recently to present the proceeds to representatives of the PATH Center. They were joined by DC President Dr. Richanne C. Mankey and Defiance Mayor Mike McCann, who each made personal donations to the project.

"Having the mayor actively involved in supporting the Empty Bowls event surely demonstrates how important it is for the community and the College to work together," said Dr. Mankey. "The College's event benefits members of our community who have a need that we can help to address. It is always so gratifying to see the wonderful turn-out of regional community members at Empty Bowls. The event truly reflects the pillars of the College mission: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve. Our students and faculty work very hard to organize this event."

According to Susan Cheeseman, PATH program manager, Ohio is one of the highest states in the nation for people experiencing food scarcity. The PATH Center serves approximately 8,000 meals yearly. Cheeseman said the annual Empty Bowls donation is key to the center being able to offer a variety of healthy meals.

Professor Salisbury noted that this year's event brought in more than 80 gallons of soup in addition to bread and desserts from restaurants, businesses, and individuals. Any leftover food was donated to the PATH Center.

She and the students expressed their gratitude to everyone who helped to make the event a success in their goal of raising funds and awareness to fight hunger and homelessness in Northwest Ohio.

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The College is guided by the four pillars of its mission: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve. The College website is