SYSK: George Lowe's ''empty bowls'' project - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: George Lowe's ''empty bowls'' project


An Eastern Iowa man is using his talent as a potter to help fight hunger.

Six years ago, George Lowe brought "empty bowls" to Decorah.

It's an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The project is helping five food pantries in the Decorah area.

George Lowe is a potter by trade and about six years ago he asked himself a question.

"As a potter, what can I do?"

George grew up with parents who were always involved in the community.

"My dad was raising money for some sort of charitable event, and I thought that's what people did and I grew up and he passed and I kind of felt him tap me on the shoulder and say it's your turn and this is something I could do and I'm happy to do it," said Lowe.

While working at a food pantry at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, he saw the need and wanted to help.

He remembered a project he heard about called "empty bowls." The basic premise is simple: potters and others create handcrafted bowls.

Then, for a $20 donation, you get a meal of soup and bread. You also get to keep the bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.

Six years later the project is going strong in Decorah.  At this year's event on March 13, churches and restaurants donated 200 gallons of soup.

Of the 1,800 handcrafted bowls, George made 1,000 himself! The event raised about $20,000 to help fight hunger!

"About two-thirds of the money will go to five local food pantries in the area, and then I'm gonna give the rest to Lutheran World Relief and Potters for Peace," said Lowe.

George says each bowl is a little more than a pound of clay. Once dry, the bowls get glazed.

George spends about five months making the bowls. "I don't have any regrets whatsoever of all the time I've spent making these bowls," he said.

He's got it down to a science. George Lowe says it's easy to give back... Just find something your good at.

"Some people like to run or read, and I like to dance with the clay and make these bowls."

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