During the event, handmade bowls made by the ASFG students and teachers were sold to make money for the Organismo de Nutrición Infantil (ONI) which supplies nutritional supplements and education to malnourished children and their families. The event was connected to the larger Empty Bowls project, which has been hosting events at various schools since 1990.
Not only did they sell handmade bowls by the students, but 25 Mexican artists also donated their bowls for a silent auction held at the event. The bowls ranged from a trio of hand painted fish bowls, a lace patterned bowl which was all the rage among the mothers, and an impeccable white bowl that had the words “The End” on the bottom. Each piece showcased the creativity and individuality of not only the artists but of the event itself.
Participants were also able to eat soups donated by local restaurants.
“Empty Bowls makes us bond because of all the things we do together to make this event happen,” Steven Oh, a participant of this year’s Empty Bowls, told JSR.
“The students gather and each make a bowl. Then the whole community comes together in one big day as we buy bowls, donate to charity, eat with our friends and family, and just generally have a good time,” he said.
Every bowl that was made for this project showed how creativity and a cause can bring people together to cooperate. Being a creative thinker is something that the school motivates students to be, and the event made that happen.
“Empty Bowls means many things to me,” said Christian Peterson, who first brought the Empty Bowls project to ASFG in 2012.
“I first participated as a student, then years later as an educator,” he continued. “I live a comfortable and happy life here in Mexico. My happiness, and the happiness of my family, is proportional to the well being of the many people that live in metropolitan area of Guadalajara. Can we truly be happy when we see people on the streets who most likely don’t have their basic needs covered? For me personally, there is a strong sense of social responsibility that goes along with organizing Empty Bowls.”
“Empty Bowls affects the students in a way no other event can,” said Oh. “A student can relate with the people that don’t have enough resources to buy food. Even if we think that one bowl of soup isn’t much, it is worth a lot to the people without any food. This makes the students understand the severity of the situation of poverty in Mexico.”
As the students, teachers, and parents sat down together and ate hot bowls of soup, they were reminded of how grateful they should be in getting to eat food every day. The bowls serve as reminders of the painful situation in which millions of people live everyday.
“It is my hope that our students realize that hunger is an issue of social justice, not charity. All people, including infants, young children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens deserve the right to have access to food. There is enough food for everyone,” stated Peterson.