People making ceramic bowls

Colorado Mountain College Rifle ceramics instructor Michelle McCurdy with some of her students, from  left, Jeff Knez, McCurdy, Carla Boverie Fergen, Aaron Peck and Mae Ashley Pina. Ceramics students are busy making hundreds of bowls, which on March 8 culinary students will fill with soup, in the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for Grand River Meals on Wheels.

CMC ceramics, culinary students provide bowls, soup to benefit Meals on Wheels

RIFLE – To help celebrate Colorado Mountain College’s 50th anniversary, two entities in the Rifle community are preparing to raise funds for Grand River Meals on Wheels 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” Luncheon on March 8, 2017, at Grand River Health’s Grand River Ballroom. The fundraiser – which provides a handcrafted bowl to keep, soup refills while they last, 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 Rifle.

The idea for the collaboration started two years ago with Michelle McCurdy, an adjunct ceramics instructor at Colorado Mountain College Rifle. It was a greater success than organizers dreamed. That first year the 187 bowls were sold out within 45 minutes. This year the ceramics students will have crafted over 400 bowls for guests to choose from. This year’s luncheon runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on March 8.

The hot soup will be made in Grand River Health’s kitchen by Rifle and Coal Ridge high school students who are in the college’s concurrent enrollment culinary program. The students receive both high school and college credit for their culinary studies and internships at Grand River Health.

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