Empty Bowls: Eat soup, help make a difference

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO |  Eliza McCarthy chose her favorite bowl at last year's Empty Bowl fundraiser.

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO | Eliza McCarthy chose her favorite bowl at last year’s Empty Bowl fundraiser.

With spring officially here — despite what it looks like outside — the Shelter Island Edible School Garden is getting ready to sprout. This year the garden is in need of a shed, which the school’s shop class is willing to build if materials are supplied.

Empty Bowls, a fundraiser for the Edible Garden and the Shelter Island Food Pantry, will help fill the coffers. On Sunday, March 22 from 12 to 3 p.m., the school cafeteria will be filled with the aroma of dozens of different kinds of soup and families eating soup out of handmade bowls.

With the help of art teacher Stephanie Sareyani, the kids from Pre-K through grade 12 and some faculty members made almost 250 bowls. All are one-of-a-kind. Ms. Sareyani said, “It’s been a real joy working with the kids this year. Because of their involvement in the event last year, they had an even deeper understanding of why they were making the bowls and they were really excited.”

There will be arts and crafts for the kids and a 50/50 raffle.

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger by bringing together craftspeople and educators in the community and offering a simple bowl of soup and homemade bowl for a donation.

Tickets will be sold at the door: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for kids; $30 maximum for a family.

Soup will also be available for takeout for $5 a pint.

Event organizer Vicki Weslek said, “Last year was so successful and we had such great feedback, not only from those who came out to support it, but also from volunteers and the restaurants who made soup. We are very happy to be holding this event once again.  I’m hopeful it’s the start of a new Island tradition.”