Deerfield Elementary Empty Bowls Night Raises $1200 for Blessings in a Backpack

Avondale School District families support community effort

Avondale School District Deerfield Elementary students, families and staff members who attended the school’s Empty Bowls Night received a hand-crafted bowl as a reminder that some bowls in every community are empty. “The entire school painted the bowls and everyone who came to the dinner got to take one home,” said Deerfield Elementary Art teacher Katherine Suender who organized the event. “The evening raised $1200 to support Avondale Blessings in a Backpack,” she added.

Deerfield Elementary students enjoy dinner and support their community

Deerfield Elementary students enjoy dinner and support their community

Avondale Blessings in a Backpack (ABIAB) is a “neighbor-helping-neighbor” program designed to help meet the nutritional needs of children over the weekend when school meals are not available. Throughout the school year, community and staff members sponsor activities designed to raise funding for the program including the dinners and a district-wide bowling event in the spring. Empty bowls dinners are a good match for ABIAB because attendees receive the bowls as a heart-felt reminder of the struggle that some families face.

Dinner events like this have been an Avondale staple since retired Art teacher Carol Glass brought the concept to the community more than 20 years ago.  Since that first dinner, Avondale schools have hosted dozens of empty bowl nights and raised thousands of dollars to support the efforts of organizations focused on the fight against hunger.

In addition to the fundraising aspect of the event, the Empty Bowls Dinner provides opportunity for a community to come together for a common goal. “The entire school made and painted the bowls,” said Suender. “This community art project is a symbol that big problems take many people, working together to solve” she added.

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