Pupils embark on ‘Empty Bowls Project’

Callum and Ashlyn Cunningham show off one of the the handmade bowls they created for Green Park Lutheran Schools Empty Bowls Project last year. The school will sponsor its second annual Empty Bowls luncheon and dinner event today — Nov. 11 — to raise money to help the hungry in this community.

Callum and Ashlyn Cunningham show off one of the the handmade bowls they created for Green Park Lutheran School’s ‘Empty Bowls Project’ last year. The school will sponsor its second annual ‘Empty Bowls’ luncheon and dinner event today — Nov. 11 — to raise money to help the hungry in this community.

Green Park Lutheran School pupils once again are undertaking a schoolwide community service event to help the hungry in this community.

The “Empty Bowls Project” is a national grassroots effort that utilizes art education to promote hunger awareness and establishes a financial means for food security.

“Empty Bowls” strives 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, according to a school news release.

The idea is relatively simple: Since September, all Green Park pupils, faculty and staff have created 500 food-safe ceramic soup bowls in conjunction with the school’s Park’s art curriculum. These bowls will be sold for $10 each at a fundraising luncheon and dinner today — Nov. 11 — at the school, 4248 Green Park Road.

Green Park families, friends, alumni and community residents are invited to attend the “Empty Bowls” luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

At each meal, guests will select a bowl and partake of a soup/bread/dessert meal sponsored by several local restaurants.

Guests keep the bowl to remind them that there are always “empty bowls” in the world.

All proceeds from the luncheon will benefit two local agencies to help combat hunger. Green Park raised $6,242 last year for Lift for Life Gym’s evening meal program.

Lift for Life Gym, a St. Louis-based after-school program, promotes positive and healthy lifestyle choices for low-income children and teens. The Gym also encourages healthy choices by providing nutritious evening meals three days per week to roughly 50 children and teenagers who might otherwise eat “junk food” for dinner — or not have dinner at all.

Additionally, because 85 percent of children enrolled in the St. Louis Public School District rely on free or reduced-cost meals, many of these children have weekends filled with hunger and despair.

Operation Back Pack exists to help meet the nutritional needs of children over the weekend. Back packs full of nutritious, child-friendly, easy-to-prepare foods are given to children on Friday before school dismissal.

Each back pack contains two proteins, two grains, two snacks, two fruits and/or vegetables and one dairy item. On Monday, pupils return the empty back packs and the cycle continues.

Green Park hopes to raise $8,000 this year for these two agencies. Also, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans has agreed to match dollar for dollar up to $800.

For more information or to volunteer, call Green Park Lutheran School at (314) 544-4248 or Ashlyn Cunningham at (314) 849-0068.