The ninth annual Empty Bowls Project, a pottery fundraiser to alleviate hunger in the community, will take place on Friday, April 4, during the First Friday Art Walk from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Thorndike Gallery in the Southern Oregon University Art Building.

With increased demand at local food banks, organizers hope to exceed the $3,800 raised in 2007.

Last year, 82,000 people in Jackson County ate from an emergency food box, 64 percent of them women and girls.

Soroptimist International of Ashland &

whose mission is to serve women and girls locally and globally, the Schneider Museum of Art and the SOU Art Department have joined to bring awareness about the hunger problem that afflicts our community and to do something about it.

More than 300 handmade ceramic bowls and other art items have been donated by Clayfolk potters, SOU students and local school children.

The items will be on display at the Thorndike Gallery from March 31 through the sale on April 4.

Bowls and other art items average $10. Patrons can also buy $5 coupons for a bowl of soup at participating Ashland restaurants.

Art items will be raffled during the evening.

Proceeds will benefit local food agencies, including ACCESS Food Share, Ashland Emergency Food Bank, Uncle Food's Diner and Food for People.

The public is invited to come celebrate, take home a beautiful bowl and make a difference in the fight against hunger.

The Thorndike Gallery is located in the SOU Art Building on the corner of Siskiyou Boulevard and Indiana Street in Ashland.

For more information about this Soroptimist event, please contact Sally Jones at 482-9677 or Mary Gardiner at 552-6246.