Support Broken Arrow Neighbors through the Broken Arrow Public Schools’ Empty Bowls project

(  November 1, 2014

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According to a report by Feeding America, 17.2 percent of people in Oklahoma suffer from food insecurity. In Tulsa County alone, more than 102,000 struggle with hunger and nearly 37,000 of those are children.

To help reduce hunger in our community, Broken Arrow Public Schools is joining together with Broken Arrow Neighbors, a nonprofit that provides basic needs to local families, and BA Food For Kids, an extension of the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, to host the third annual Empty Bowls project. This $10 event includes a soup dinner and a silent auction in the Broken Arrow High School (BAHS) cafeteria on Nov. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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“I am always amazed at the level of understanding today’s youth has regarding food insecurity and their willingness to accept the ‘call to action,’” said Kim Goddard, executive director of Broken Arrow Neighbors. “Empty Bowls is a true reflection of a strong community joining forces to address social issues that are typically unacknowledged.”

The Empty Bowls service project began in 2012 by nearly 1,000 BAHS students and staff members who brought the community together to raise awareness and provide substantial support to Broken Arrow’s local hunger relief organizations.

These students handcrafted ceramic bowls in their art classes to give to Empty Bowl attendees as a gift of gratitude and as a reminder of the empty bowls in the world. Now in its third year, the project has grown into a district-wide project, involving participation from a number of school sites.

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“This year, our students created more than 600 bowls at different school sites throughout the district, giving them the opportunity to impact the community with their art,” said Jennifer Deal, BAHS art teacher and Empty Bowl project coordinator. “The theme for Empty Bowls is hunger, homelessness and poverty, and a variety of classrooms are exploring these themes through their natural classroom curriculum.”

As was true last year, a number of classes are involved in making this project possible. From business classes to vocational agricultural classes, students and teachers are combining their efforts to make this year’s Empty Bowl project a huge success.

“Our goal is to raise $6,500,” Deal said. “Last year, we brought in more than $4,000.”

Tickets are on sale now and are available at Broken Arrow High School, the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center, Broken Arrow Neighbors or at the door. Attendees are also being asked to bring a nonperishable food item. Donations and proceeds benefit Broken Arrow Neighbors and BA Food For Kids.