Empty bowls, full hearts at Camden Hills Regional High School23rd year of bringing awarness to world hunger
Rockport — An annual tradition at Camden Hills Regional High School with the aim of shining a spotlight on the issue of hunger is still going strong after 22 years.
The Empty Bowl Supper is a night designed to bring friends and family together to break bread and give back to the community.
The tradition began in 1990 when then-Camden-Rockport High School art teacher Simon van der Ven came up with the idea of a dinner with handmade bowl created by students that, with a small fee, could be kept after enjoying it full of soup.
For the last six years, current Camden Hills’ art teacher Russell Kahn has carried the torch to make sure the tradition continues.
“The empty bowl symbolizes the people who go hungry everyday and the donation for the bowl is to bring awareness,” Kahn said. “We have had very strong participation through the years and we as a school as a whole are very proud of that.”
Along with the dinner of hot soups ranging from vegan curry to New England clam chowder, a silent auction was also held. Some of the proceeds from the auction go back into the cost of creating the bowls, including purchasing glaze for the next batch of bowls.
“The kids have done an amazing job, they have been working since the beginning of the year on the bowls and they have been very dedicated to completing them,” he said. “The Empty Bowl Club has met two-days a week since the start of school and they have done a wonderful job creating the bowls and helping with the organization of the event.”
Restaurants and business from all over Knox and Waldo County donated food items and items for the silent auction and according to Kahn, the event would not be nearly as successful without their support.
“People are very generous donating to our cause,” Kahn said. “There is such a huge list of people from Rockland to Belfast who have donated soups and bread for the dinner, along with the auction items and everything else to help with the supper.”
Following tradition, the Empty Bowl Supper precedes the Camden Hills Holiday Concert in The Strom Auditorium.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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