Empty Bowls to fill Share’s shelves

Jacques Memorial School first-grader Chris Andrew paints a bowl for Share’s Empty Bowls fundraising event planned for April 9.

MILFORD – They’re only first-graders, but they know why they’re making and painting ceramic bowls.

The bowls will help people who “don’t have much,” Maria Dudley said as she and her classmate Nadia Tlapa painted their bowls last week.

The handcrafted pottery is being made by schoolchildren and will be filled with soup at Share Outreach’s annual Empty Bowls fundraising event from noon-2 p.m. Sunday, April 9, at Milford Middle School.

The simple meal of soup, bread and a beverage is designed to not only raise money, but also to remind everyone that there is hunger and poverty in our communities.

Aimee Piccolo is the art teacher at Jacques Memorial School, where first-graders made and painted 130 ceramic bowls.

They are “knee bowls,” meaning the clay is shaped with the children’s knees “so they are different shapes and sizes, just like them,” Piccolo said.

Different classes made and painted the bowls so the children wouldn’t become too attached to them, she said. But there is a heart on the bottom of each one, to identify them as coming from Jacques, and not the middle school, where kids are also making bowls for the event.

This will be the third Empty Bowls event. It was inspired in 2014 by Mont Vernon Village School students who made pottery they sold at the town’s Spring Gala and then gave the money to Share.

In his letter from Share’s board of directors in the nonprofit’s annual report, Chairman Paul Spiess talked about the “continuing erosion of the basic network of of social services provided at both the state and federal level.”

Share Executive Director Chris Janson said recently she is particularly concerned about potential cuts to federal fuel assistance in the Trump administration’s early budget proposal, cuts that would have to be made up through the limited resources of Share or the town welfare office.

The nonprofit Share Outreach serves Milford, Amherst, Brookline and Mont Vernon, providing food, clothing and emergency financial assistance to area families who are in need but who don’t qualify for government assistance, or for whom government assistance isn’t enough or is delayed.

All food for Empty Bowls is being donated by local stores and restaurants.

For more information, call 673-9898 or visit www.sharenh.org.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.