Caroline Burnley, left, is assisted by Jean Kloppenburg, Nanaimo District Secondary School art teacher, as Burnley made a bowl for the upcoming Empty Bowl Project fundraising dinner Dec. 6 at the high school. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Empty bowls being created, then filled

NDSS teachers, students prep for Empty Bowl Project fundraising soup dinner in December

There will be soup for you as Nanaimo District Secondary School holds a fundraising dinner for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank next month.

Jean Kloppenburg, an NDSS art teacher, and the high school’s student council are planning for the Empty Bowl Project fundraiser taking place Dec. 6. Participants purchase a pre-made clay bowl for the soup dinner and volunteers are busy moulding bowls.

The concept is used around the world, according to Kloppenburg.

“The Empty Bowl concept was created in the States by potters,” said Kloppenburg. “Potters got together and made bowls to fill with soup to feed the homeless. It took off and the Empty Bowl name can be used for any fundraising event, just as long as all the proceeds go to a food bank, so we are raising funds for Loaves and Fishes here in Nanaimo.”

Kloppenburg and students hosted a bowl-making session at NDSS last Saturday and there will be another session this Saturday, Nov. 10 at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery on Wallace Street, with owner Bronwyn Arundel helping to glaze bowls. There are sessions from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

“It’s a donation of a bowl for a soup bowl night, so we invite the community to come in,” Kloppenburg said. “We have some potters make bowls, the community make bowls and those bowls aren’t their property, they get donated to the actual event. So when you buy a ticket to the Empty Bowl on Dec. 6, you can choose whatever fantastic, creative bowl you like and then the soup goes in. We have a simple meal and then when you finish your soup, the empty bowl signifies all the empty bowls that are here in Nanaimo we’re trying to help [fill].”

The Empty Bowl dinner takes place at the NDSS cafeteria on Dec. 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. according to Kloppenburg and numerous soups will be on the menu including Italian wedding soup, corn chowder and tomato bisque.

“Our student council have been working non-stop to put together a silent auction, gather donations, soup donations,” said Kloppenburg. “We have people donating soup, chefs, local restaurants, staff at NDSS, people who have come in the past … so you get a fabulous meal, you get a bowl to take home with you, the one that you choose, and we usually have really great silent auction items.”

Tickets are available at the high school office and are $15 for adults and $10 for students.



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Lisa Cunnian, a teacher at Nanaimo District Secondary School, decorates a bowl that will be used at the Dec. 6 Empty Bowl Project fundraiser dinner at the school cafeteria benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

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