Riverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls

For the last two days, Riverview Charter School has been participating in the Empty Bowls service learning project and worked very hard to raise a whopping $11,000 AND package 40,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now.

Students, parents, teachers, and members of the community banded together to make this happen by way of a silent auction, making donations in handmade student ’empty bowls,’ purchasing an Empty Bowls t-shirt, or volunteering to help package meals on Friday. RCS is thrilled to announce they hit their marks in both arenas, raising money and packaging meals for schools and orphanages in both Haiti and Sierra Leone.

Even Bill Evans, the Chairman of the Beaufort County School District board was in attendance, volunteering alongside students and other members of theRiverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls community.

Evans raved about his experience, remarking that Stop Hunger Now is a wonderful service project. “I greatly enjoyed my experience – working with the children is always exciting. I’m really hoping to encourage other schools to see the value and service in this event. I plan to mention Stop Hunger Now at the board meeting next Tuesday in my chairman’s comments because… the group I was with in a half hour packed 10,000 meals- if we could get even half the schools in the district to participate, the results would be exponential. Imagine how many mouths we could feed.” Riverview was very thankful for Mr. Evans’ attendance and for his advocacy for this amazing project.

Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and art organizations in communities. The organization supports food related charities around the world and has raised millions of dollars to aid in the fight against hunger.

Empty Bowls allows artists and groups to create and donate bowls, then serve a simple meal or soup in them. Riverview K-8 students craft bowls usingRiverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls multi-media including weaving, ceramics, photography, etc. Guests on Thursday evening chose a bowl to use to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. In exchange for the meal, and the bowl, guests simply contribute a donation.

100% of each meal’s proceeds are devoted to local hunger-fighting organizations, such as food banks or soup kitchens, or to national or international charitable groups. Riverview chooses STOP HUNGER NOW, an international hunger relief agency that has been fulfilling its commitment to end hunger for more than 15 years. Since 1998, the organization has coordinated the distribution of food and other lifesaving aid to children and families in countries all over the world.

Riverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls“What we want everyone to know is that hunger is solvable and is the common thread among the world’s most challenging issues. When hunger is targeted, you give leverage and hope to every other cause including poverty, disease, education and the welfare of women and children,” says Rod Brooks, President and CEO of Stop Hunger Now.

There are 925 million people who suffer from hunger worldwide, and Beaufort families love that Riverview Charter School makes a dent in this issue. Carey Kerney, parent of 3 RCS students, says “I love that Empty Bowls continues to be a service project for Riverview. It teaches the children and adults to think outside themselves- to understand that people across the globe and in our own backyard go hungry every day. Over the last five years, Riverview has donated and packed over 85,000 meals and this year we packed 40,000 in one day! One day! Our school feeding thousands of people around the world is just truly awesome.”

“Part of Riverview’s mission is to raise engaged citizens and this is teaching our children to be engaged citizens,” Ann Marie Bowden, curriculum director, remarks as she gets the crowd ready to start packing the last 10,000 meals of the day.

The gymnasium at the Shell Point school was bristling with excitement as students, teachers, parents, and friends finished off the 40,000 meal goal FridayRiverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls afternoon! Singing, dancing, laughing- even a few tears were shed. It is truly an indescribable experience, so people being moved to tears is not at all surprising. Watching young people give to others they will never meet is inspiring, to say the least.

Riverview’s director, Alison Thomas points out that, “in addition to greatly benefiting the recipients, I think it’s important and valuable to the children who are the givers. It’s such a great cooperative learning experience.”

RCS is immensely thankful to those who gave their time, donated, purchased a shirt, or supported in any way! Donations can still be made via http://riverviewcharterschool.org/EmptyBowls.html.

The event was a huge success, and Amy Hoecht, 3rd grade parent, said she is already looking forward to next year’s event. Story by Abigail Kraft

Riverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls


Riverview Charter School fights hunger with Empty Bowls