Empty Bowls

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By Don Pace

United World College student Jen Kim says she didn’t invent the Empty Bowls Project, a program whose mission is to feed the hungry.

But her energy brought her love of ceramics and concern for world hunger together at a local event. 

“I took ceramics in ninth grade, and I really loved the class. It was one of my favorites. We also did an Empty Bowls fundraiser, which is an organization that fights world hunger, so when we I came to UWC, I wanted a pottery activity, but they had discontinued it,” Kim said.

The Pennsylvania native said Sharon Seto, the dean of co-curricular programs, helped her form a ceramics club. She learned her piano teacher Jane Warsaw also did pottery and ceramics and had her own studio.

“So we got this class going as an official activity for this school year, and at UWC, we are required to do community service. I thought this would be a great way to do the Empty Bowls fundraiser and contribute to the community. I guess it really took off from there,” Kim said.

Kim said after some advertising, a lot of people got involved, including Highlands University.

“We’ve been doing this for a year. Jane would have open studio night and people would just come in and make bowls,” Kim said  

Kim said the Samaritan House and the soup kitchen would be local beneficiaries. 

Flora Brocza, a second-year student from Austria, said she had been working at the soup kitchen for four semesters.

“I came here when they started the Tuesday kitchen day, and I stayed,” Brocza said. “I feel like you see the effects of it in the community. I feel like I am part of this community, so that makes me very happy.”

Samaritan House board President Vince Howell said the work of the students and staff was generous.