Springdale students’ empty dishes raise money for food bank | TribLIVE.com
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Emily Balser

Springdale Junior-Senior High School students got a chance to give back to their teachers and their community on Wednesday with their annual Empty Dish Luncheon.

The event, formerly called the Empty Bowl Luncheon, was expanded this year to include mugs and other dishes.

The school’s art class created the mugs. The family and consumer sciences class made all of the food for the luncheon, which benefits the Lower Valley Community Food Bank in Springdale.

Mugs are sold for $7 to staff and faculty who are then served soup and salad by the students.

“I honestly think it’s really helpful,” said junior Justus Cowfer, 17. “There are families that don’t have enough.”

Junior Marina McCutcheon, 16, said it makes her feel good to know she created something for a good cause.

“It’s really kind of inspiring,” she said. “It starts with just a slab of clay.”

Students spend almost an entire semester planning the event and, then about a week preparing the food. This year, they served chicken tortellini and chipotle black bean soups along with a salad bar, drinks and light desserts.

The luncheon typically brings in around $350 for the food bank.

“We make everything from scratch,” said Melissa Leger, the family and consumer sciences teacher. “I just think it’s a great thing.”

Senior Jaden Domaratz, 18, said she’s always loved ceramics and creating the bowls to raise money for the local food bank is extra special.

“It’s a great feeling knowing I’m creating something not just to get graded on it,” she said.

Art teacher Heidi Charlton said she likes the collaboration that the two classes have with each other.

“We feel that it brings our school together by doing activities together so kids can see that it goes across the board in education and not just one area,” Charlton said.

English teacher Keely Grover said the luncheon is great for the teachers because they don’t have to worry about packing a lunch, and it teaches the kids how to give back.

“We look forward to this every year,” she said. “The food’s always ‘dee-lish.’”

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