Potters provide bowls to feed hungry

By Sandi P. Beason
Daily Journal
TUPELO – They gathered in Midnite Pottery’s parking
lot, creating what will be used to help feed the
hungry.
“We’ve already done 60 or so, and I’ve got 40-45 here
now,” said potter Lynn Barnwell of Corinth. “We’ll
probably donate close to 200 bowls.”
Every bowl donated to The Salvation Army equals a $12
contribution from someone during its annual
fundraiser, the Empty Bowls luncheon set for Feb. 21.
Its focus is to feed the hungry.
A handful of area potters held a “throw day” Monday,
shaping nearly 200 bowls they’ll give away. The
Salvation Army women’s auxiliary is hoping to have at
least 1,400 bowls donated.
“Everyone is working harder, and there are more
potters involved,” said Marguerite Johnson, Empty
Bowls coordinator. “We are helping to feed the hungry
from the local area.”
This time, the event will be held at the Tupelo
Furniture Market Building V, which will allow more
room for the soup-lunch and also for the gift shop and
auction, she said.

Event supports Salvation Army
Money raised is used to offset The Salvation Army’s
cost to run its feeding programs, including daily
lunches, an emergency food pantry and Meals on Wheels.
“It’s amazing what The Salvation Army can turn that
into, food-wise,” she said.
Last year, the event raised $20,000. This year, she
said, they hope to raise more through the silent
auction and gift shop.
Monday’s bowl throwing was just the beginning for the
lumps of clay. After they are shaped on the potters’
wheels, they must dry, then be fired, glazed and fired
again.
“You can’t wait until a week or two before the event
to do this,”
Johnson said. They ask potters to begin working on the
bowls this early, before they are hit by the holiday
season.
“This is a good cause and it was started by potters,”
said Dean Webb, co-owner of Midnite Pottery. His
business hosted the bowl throwing, but “it’s for all
potters, not just us.”
Gina Yarbrough, elementary art coordinator for Lee
County Schools, said she participates “on the side”
because she wants to give something back to the
community. She’s been participating for at least four
years and gets her students involved, too.
“I’ve been working with Guntown Middle School,” she
said, “and we have produced bowls for two years.”

Contact Daily Journal reporter Sandi P. Beason at
678-1598 or sandi.beason@djournal.com