AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - High school students raised awareness for food insecurity by handcrafting bowls as a reminder of all the bowls that go unfilled in Amarillo.
The Amarillo Independent School District partnered with the High Plains Food Bank on Friday to engage students in a district-wide service learning project, offering handmade bowls and a meal to those who work for the district.
Staff members donated $10 each, which goes towards the Kids Cafe program, picked out a bowl and were served a humble meal of beef stew.
“The concept of an empty bowl is that you come to a luncheon, have a humble meal and take home a bowl to remind you of all the empty bowls around the world,” said Amarillo Independent School District Director of Arts Education Denise Olson. “The simple meal is kind of a reminder that many of our folks, not only here but throughout the world, their meals are very simple.”
Kids Cafe feeds about 688 AISD students, with an average of around 885 meals served daily.
“One in four kids in Amarillo, and in the surrounding area, is facing hunger or food insecurity,” said High Plains Food Bank Communications and Marketing Manager Tina Brohlin. “That can really affect their performance and their success in the classroom. This is something that we wanted to do so that every dollar goes directly to Kids Cafe and towards buying food to make these meals for the kids.”
Along with increasing awareness and raising money, students were taught why serving the community is a valuable lesson for all.
“First thing that it teaches them, is about the need and the hunger in our community, in our nation and worldwide,” said Olson. “So the first thing that we did was we gathered some statistics about hunger, created a lesson plan for the students and we taught the students about what the need is. We also felt like this is a great way for the kids to learn about service. This is a learning service project for them, so they learn that giving back, caring for others and contributing to the community, is an important part of their education.”
If successful, the Empty Bowls program will become an annual fundraiser and learning project to continue feeding those in need.