Column: Ceramics students may help fill hungry stomachs with Empty Bowls

KYLA OTT, A senior at Ripon High School, gently smooths the outside of a bowl she is creating for the Empty Bowl event. Ian Stepleton photo

FOR A PERSON WHO IS hungry, even a basic meal of soup may see like a feast.

Even a simple bowl of soup.

But what would that bowl look like?

Would it be a fanciful ceramic bowl created by a professional artist?

Maybe a rough-hewn pot, forged with much love but little experience, by a child?

What should that bowl look like?

THAT’S ESSENTIALLY THE question recently posed to high school students in Kathryn Dreifuerst’s ceramics classes.

For one of their first projects of the year, they’ve been asked to create Empty Bowls for hunger.

According to its Web site ( the goals of Empty Bowls “are to raise money to help organizations fight hunger, to raise awareness about the issues of hunger and food security, and to help bring about an attitude that will not allow hunger to exist.”

It does so through a grass-roots effort in which schools nationwide — and beyond — create ceramic bowls.

Each bowl is meant to represent a meager meal someone who is hungry might receive.

People then purchase tickets to a fund-raiser dinner (at which the proceeds go to area food pantries), at which they don’t receive a feast, but a simple bowl of soup.

And a bowl, which they can take home to remind them about those who have so much less to eat.

For the entire column, turn to page 5 of the Oct. 8 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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