Aidan Metz, left, Jean Kloppenburg and Daniel Hall, student council president, art teacher and student council vice-president, respectively, at Nanaimo District Secondary School, are preparing for the Empty Bowl Soup Night on Thursday, Dec. 5, benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

NDSS students give back to community with Empty Bowl fundraiser

Dinner goes Thursday, Dec. 5 at NDSS; participants get a meal and keepsake bowl

Nanaimo students are hoping people will chow down on chowder at a fundraising dinner in an effort to curb hunger and poverty.

Empty Bowl Soup Night is set for Thursday, Dec. 5 at Nanaimo District Secondary School, where admission will provide attendees with a bowl of soup and a handcrafted keepsake bowl. All proceeds will go to Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank in Nanaimo.

Aidan Metz, NDSS student council president, says the fundraiser has been one that the school has put on for a number of years. A fundraising target of $5,000 has been set and Metz said the goal is to raise as much money as possible for Loaves and Fishes, as supporting the community is very important to student council.

“This dinner is raising money for homeless people and especially people in need, so it’s not necessarily only people that are homeless, but it’s also those who maybe don’t always have the income or the disposal money to buy themselves a good, nutritious dinner,” said Metz.

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For Daniel Hall, NDSS student council vice-president, said lessons in school can be applied to the fundraiser.

”We do learn, obviously, about Canada’s homelessness crisis and it is important because it is the community we live in and it’s directly impacting us as members and as citizens of the city…” he said. “We’re taught to give back, as well, and as students, as young people, to take initiative is very important.”

Jean Kloppenburg, NDSS fine arts teacher, said putting on the event is beneficial to students, as they learn that it’s good to give back.

“I think with the hard work that they put into it, [there’s] a feeling that they get of being very proud of handing over a large cheque to Loaves and Fishes, through their efforts,” said Kloppenberg. “We combine it with the student council and the pottery program and they have to go through the whole process of doing fundraising. Everything from the concept to silent auction items, bringing in businesses, learning how to run an evening event that is fun and entertaining and people feel great about what they’re doing, so they learn a lot.”

A variety of soup will be served Dec. 5, including clam chowder, roast squash, vegetarian, Mexican tortilla soup, Italian wedding soup and even a peanut butter soup.

Unlike past years, businesses and corporations assisted with making the bowls this year, with 150 bowls made and thus 150 tickets available. As of last week, about 70 tickets had been sold.

Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults and can be purchased at the NDSS office during school hours. The high school’s phone number is 250-740-2000. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 at NDSS.

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