CMC, Grand River Health form partnership for fundraising on March 11

empty bowls potter

On March 11, an “Empty Bowls” luncheon – where you can purchase a bowl (made by Colorado Mountain College-Rifle ceramics students) filled with soup (made by Colorado Mountain College-Rifle culinary arts students) – will raise funds for Grand River Meals on Wheels. The luncheon will be at the Grand River Café, at Grand River Health.

Two entities in the Rifle community are preparing to raise funds while providing students opportunities to use their artistic and culinary skills for a worthy cause.

Organizers are busy getting ready for the March for Meals “Empty Bowls” Lunch event on March 11 at the Grand River Café at Grand River Health. The fundraiser – which provides a handcrafted bowl to keep, soup to fill it, bread and beverages in exchange for a $20 donation – raises money for the Grand River Meals on Wheels program. It’s being coordinated by staff from Grand River Health, and faculty and students from Colorado Mountain College in Rifle (see breakout box).

The idea for the collaboration started with Michelle McCurdy, an adjunct ceramics instructor at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle. Now, she and fellow ceramics faculty and students are busy making 100 ceramic bowls that will soon be filled with hot soup.

“I mentioned it, and it has taken on a life of its own,” said McCurdy. “Now, we’re busy creating beautiful bowls for the event.”

The hot soup will be made in Grand River Health’s kitchen by nine local students from Rifle and Coal Ridge high schools. The students are in CMC’s concurrent enrollment culinary arts program. As part of their internships at Grand River Hospital’s kitchen, on March 11 they’ll work in teams with two of Grand River’s chefs and CMC chef instructor for the dual enrollment class. The students receive both high school and college credit for their culinary arts studies and internships at Grand River Health.

“I love how CMC ceramics students are making the bowls and CMC culinary arts students are making the soups,” said Kaaren Peck, the director of volunteer services and Meals on Wheels at Grand River Health. “It seems to perfectly bring together many seemingly disconnected pieces.”

Although the fundraiser is a locally focused effort, it’s based on national and international models. Across the country and around the world, Meals on Wheels and the Empty Bowls Project conduct ongoing events to raise money and bring awareness about hunger issues and provide funds to food distribution efforts.

What: March for Meals “Empty Bowls” Luncheon

A fundraising partnership with Colorado Mountain College-Rifle’s ceramics and culinary students for Grand River Meals on Wheels

When: 11:11 a.m. to 1:11 p.m. on March 11

Where: Grand River Café, 501 Airport Road, Rifle

How much: $20 includes a student-crafted ceramic bowl and soup lunch prepared by

Colorado Mountain College culinary arts students

Why: To raise money for Grand River Meals on Wheels, and to bring public awareness to those confronting hunger

Contact: Kaaren Peck, director of Grand River Meals on Wheels, 625-6423