Members of the White Mountain community, as well as a number of guests from the local area, came together Friday evening, November 10, for an Empty Bowls Banquet. Empty Bowls events are held all over the world and are part of an international grassroots effort to raise awareness about the number of people who face hunger on a daily basis and to raise money to help address this pervasive problem. White Mountain has held a number of these events in the past and the Community Service Club, led by faculty advisor Jennifer Nance, was happy to have the opportunity to host one this year.
While final details for the event were put into place this fall, the Community Service Club began planning for it months ago. They enlisted the help of Visual Arts Teacher Rachel Van Wylen and a number of students in Ceramics in the creation of handmade bowls, which guests used at the event and then were able to take home for a minimum donation of $10. Two local artists, Jack Avery and José Bonilla, generously donated their time and helped the group to surpass their goal of 200 bowls. Richard Carpenter and the White Mountain kitchen staff made a number of delicious soups to fill the bowls and the event raised nearly $900.
Ana Chambers ’19, a student leader of the Community Service Club, announced that the money raised will be donated to the Franconia Church of Christ’s Good Neighbor Food Pantry to help people who need assistance in our local area. She also shared the following statistics about hunger in the U.S. and right here in Grafton County, NH: “15.4% of Americans are food insecure, which is defined by the USDA as a ‘lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle for all household members’. That means 42,238,000 people in the United States are without secure access to adequate food. In New Hampshire, 9.7% of people are food insecure and in Grafton County the figure is even higher at 10.5%.”
The Community Service Club is grateful to everyone who attended the event for helping to raise much needed funds that will hopefully make a positive impact on some of our neighbors. Ana said the following as she reflected on her experience planning the Empty Bowls Banquet:
“My biggest goal for this event was to raise awareness in our community about hunger. I am amazed by the effort everyone put in to make the Empty Bowls Banquet happen, and I’m especially proud of how many people contributed to this project. My hope is that this event helped people who need it and and that we inspired others to do the same.”