Empty bowls teaches community about local hunger

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2015 at 12:00 am
Empty Bowls

Photos by Tom Rivers – Albion seventh-graders Alissa Brown, left, and Leeyah Rechtsiegel promote the Empty Bowls fund-raiser on March 21 at Albion Middle School.

ALBION – The colorful bowls were all made by Albion seventh-graders, and the dishes were more than pleasing to the eye.

Each student wrote a message about local hunger, and those words were placed in the bowls. They each sold for $5 on March 21 as part of a fund-raiser for the food pantry at Community Action of Orleans & Genesee.

“I made this bowl to help the needy,” one student wrote in a message as part of Empty Bowls event, which included a bowl of soup at the middle school cafeteria.

Empty Bowls

Albion seventh-graders made 170 decorative bowls in art class. They were sold for $5 each with proceeds going to the food pantry at Community Action.

Albion seventh-graders have been partnering with Community Action the past four years for the project. Students made 170 bowls in art class, learning pottery from teacher Kamie Feder.

The event raises nearly $1,000 for Community Action. Seventh-graders spend the school year learning about food and hunger. They visit Food Link in Rochester, help package 200 holiday food baskets at Community Action, and spend class time researching the issue.

“It brings an awareness to the community that people are hungry,” said Annette Finch, director of community services for Community Action. “The number of people who are asking for help has gone up substantially.”

Community Action runs a kitchen in Holley, where demand has been increasing to 700 to 750 meals a month. Residents are using the food pantry in Albion more on a year-round basis.

Empty Bowls

Each student wrote a note about hunger that was placed in a bowl.

Sue Starkweather Miller, Albion’s grants manager, said the project shows students that hunger is an issue locally, not just in a distant country.

“This has been a perfect curriculum-community need connection,” she said. “There is meaning behind what the kids are learning.”

Ricky Daniels created a turtle-themed bowl for the event. He added a head and legs to the bowl. He said the entire class has been working hard on the project.

“The whole seventh grade has really gotten into it,” he said. “It’s cool that the profits go to charity.”