Public Interest Program Fellow Lucero Flores (left) helped coordinate ETHS’s 2018 Empty Bowl event on Dec. 5, where junior Mayher Matharu (center) and Ella McGinley volunteered.                                                            Photo from ETHS

For the past 19 years, Evanston Township High School has hosted its annual Empty Bowl event to support local soup kitchens and food pantries. On Dec. 5, staff and students from the ETHS Community Service Club, Career & Technical Education (culinary), Fine Arts (ceramics), and staff from Operations and Nutrition Services planned and implemented the event to help raise awareness and funds to fight local hunger.

More than 400 people attended Empty Bowl 2018 and had the opportunity to purchase a meal and a handmade ceramic bowl during ETHS lunch periods. In addition,  over 50 ceramic pieces were donated by local artists, businesses and organizations for silent auction.

With help from about 65 student volunteers, Empty Bowl raised more than $5,500 this year, which converts to approximately 2,700 meals at a soup kitchen, said ETHS Community Service Coordinator Mary Collins. Each year, the event uses a “food re-distribution” approach, with local soup kitchens receiving soups, chili, bread and cookies leftover from the event.

“Empty Bowl is a great event that takes place all over the nation, but here in Evanston it is super special because it is so student-centered, student-powered, and community-focused while providing teenagers with lots of opportunity to make a direct impact,” said Ms. Collins.

Many local businesses and organizations have supported Empty Bowl at ETHS, including Great Harvest Bread Co., Bagel Art, Evanston Art Center, The Pot Shop, Robert Crown Community Center, Midwest Clay Guild, and ETHS Boosters.