CMC Rifle ceramics students create bowls, Chocolate Moose donates ice cream to benefit Grand River Meals on Wheels

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RIFLE – In March 2020, the 6th annual Empty Bowls event was one of the first social gatherings in the area to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, a year and a half later, organizers feel it is safe to host Empty Bowls again but with a summer twist. Instead of soup, attendees will take part in an end-of-the-summer outdoor ice cream social.

Organizers are busy getting ready for the Empty Bowls event, which runs from 12:30-2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1. This celebration will mark the 45th anniversary of Grand River Meals on Wheels.

“Grand River Health has always supported the community by providing Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors from Parachute to New Castle,” said Kaaren Peck, director of Grand River Meals on Wheels. “The service is more than just providing food. It helps with connecting the homebound with the larger community.”

In exchange for a $20 donation, the outdoor fundraiser provides guests with a bowl handcrafted by CMC Rifle ceramics students and ice cream with toppings donated by the Chocolate Moose in Glenwood Springs.

A single donation provides almost a week’s worth of meals for one recipient. During the past 15 years, Grand River Meals on Wheels has provided almost a quarter of a million meals to over 2,000 people in western Garfield County. In 2020 alone, the organization provided and delivered over 21,000 meals.

Empty Bowls is coordinated by staff and volunteers from Grand River Health, as well as faculty and students from CMC’s Rifle campus. The idea for the collaboration started in 2015 with Michelle McCurdy, an adjunct ceramics instructor at the college. The first year was a huge success, with nearly 200 bowls sold within 45 minutes. This year the ceramics students are crafting close to 400 bowls.

Although the fundraiser is a locally focused effort, it’s internationally based. The Empty Bowls Project conducts events around the world to raise money and bring awareness around hunger issues. The program also provides funds for food distribution efforts such as Grand River Meals on Wheels.


Meals on Wheels Empty Bowls Ice Cream Social

A fundraising partnership with Colorado Mountain College Rifle’s ceramics students and Chocolate Moose benefitting Grand River Meals on Wheels

When: 12:30-2 p.m. on Sept. 1

Where: Grand River Health’s Grand River Café Courtyard, 501 Airport Road, Rifle. Please park in the southwest parking lot.

How much: $20 includes a student-crafted ceramic bowl and ice cream with toppings

Why: To raise money for Grand River Meals on Wheels and to bring public awareness about those among us living with hunger insecurity

Contact: Kaaren Peck, director of Grand River Meals on Wheels, 970-625-6423 or