SOLON– When you attend the third annual Empty Bowls Luncheon to End Hunger this weekend, remember you’re helping fill someone’s else’s plate.
The Solon Art Club will host the luncheon Saturday, March 31, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Solon High School (SHS) commons, with proceeds to be donated to the Johnson County Crisis Center and Food Bank.
Members of the art club have been working for months to create upwards of 300 ceramic bowls for the luncheon, each representing an empty bowl in the hands of some other citizen of the world.
At the Empty Bowls Luncheon, members of the community will be asked for a suggested minimum donation of $10, and in return they will select one of the handmade bowls and use it to dine on a modest meal of soup and bread.
Everyone attending will be encouraged to take home their bowl and remember its meaning.
Over the past two years, the art club has raised over $3,000 for hunger relief. The goal this year is to raise $2,000.
Last year, over 150 people attended the luncheon. SHS art instructor Josh Koza is hoping for even more this year.
“I would love to see our numbers crest 200,” Koza said. “I think we’ve been really kind of building steam over the past couple years. It’s starting to become a spring staple. We certainly have enough bowls, I don’t think we’ll run out, but if we do, what a wonderful problem.”
Members of the art club not only help to create the bowls used at the event, but they staff it as well, arriving at 6:30 a.m. to begin making the five soups from scratch. A second shift of students come in to serve the soup and clean up.
“It’s no small task,” Koza said. “I love seeing the community show up. It’s great to feel this is something the community anticipates every year.”
But the community service project also provides the students with the experience of helping others.
“I really enjoy seeing the look on the kids’ faces when they realize that something they’ve put this much time and effort into– something they’ve invested in– really matters, makes a difference,” Koza said.