Armed with a stack of unique soup bowls, FCCLA member Anna Jelden resets the tables in the middle of the Jan. 11 Empty Bowl Supper, preparing the way for more guests to make a difference in the lives of hungry people. — Johnson Publications
Generous community members fill the old gym at Holyoke High School, supporting the FCCLA Empty Bowl Supper. — Johnson Publications
Gratitude, service encouraged at Empty Bowl Supper
“This bowl signifies that many people only have an empty bowl for supper. Take this bowl home as a reminder to be grateful for the meals we have. On average, one in six Americans face hunger at home — in families with children, it’s one in five.”
Each placemat used by the 80 guests at the Jan. 11 Empty Bowl Supper was printed with that message, reminding eaters that the tasty meal they were enjoying was only a small part of a bigger picture.
Organized by Holyoke High School students Kyra Loutensock and Cash Adler, the meal was phase one of the chapter service project for the HHS chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. It was made possible by support from a number of individuals and organizations, making it a truly collaborative effort.
Bowls were donated, created and decorated, a variety of soups and cookies were made, and of course, tickets were bought. “I think it went really well,” Loutensock said. “I was glad the community could come out and support us,” she added.
Phase two of the service project will be a meal packing event, which will use all the funds raised through the dinner and donations. During the school day on Tuesday, Feb. 27, HHS students will pack meals through Feeding Children Everywhere. The goal is to pack 10,000 meals and for the meals to stay local by donating them to area food banks.
“The dual approach of the Empty Bowls event leading to the food packaging we’ll do as a school in February makes it so real for those participating,” FCCLA adviser Karen Ortner said. “They’ve worked hard for a good cause.”
Though they will continue to take donations through Monday, Jan. 22, the project is currently just about $150 short of its $2,500 goal.