Our Sisters’ School’s Students in Action hosted The Empty Bowls Project to prevent hunger and increase awareness of food insecurity in our community. Students sold handcrafted bowls and soup to raise money for local hunger relief efforts with United Way of Greater New Bedford on Friday, February 15.

When asked why they chose this cause for their project, they replied with some hard facts in their presentation. "One in 11 members of Massachusetts are at risk of hunger.
One in three children and one in five seniors are at risk of hunger in Eastern Massachusetts alone."

Empty Bowls Project

Empty Bowls is the beginning of a larger 2-year program for Students in Action. Over the course of the program, OSS and UWGNB will work closely together to raise awareness about hunger locally. Students will make an impact by volunteering at local food programs including Sharing the Harvest Community Farm (a program of YMCA SouthCoast Dartmouth), purchasing food that is most needed at pantries, and developing ways to combat hunger.

This year for a Spirit Day they held a "Hunger Awareness Day." As a school, the students collected 646 non-perishable items weighing 1,020 pounds.

It’s estimated that every meal should weigh 1.2 pounds - meaning we provided 850 meals to our community! - Students in Action

Their hard work certainly paid off Friday night, as the group raised nearly $1,500!*

Empty Bowls Project

They aren't quitting after this one event, either. They've committed themselves to this project for two years and are already thinking about where to go from here.

We are actively brainstorming how best to serve our community. Some ideas include:
Buying food with the funds and donating it to the local food initiatives.
Volunteering at the local pantries
Hosting a workshop to teach members of the community how to create community gardens
Teaching the community about healthier lifestyles and providing resources (ex: nutrition cards)

“The OSS Empty Bowls project, and projects like it, provide a way for everyone in our community - including the younger students among us - to make a difference, “ said Margaret McSweeney, Volunteer Coordinator at Our Sisters’ School. “We do our best to provide regular opportunities for our students to develop their roles as active members of their community. We encourage them to be responsible citizens and role models for others by working on issues that they care about and that help to make the world a better place to live.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of Students in Action’s 2-year project on hunger,” said Victoria Grasela, Director of Marketing & Community Relations at United Way. “They accomplished a lot in just a few weeks and have big plans for the future. We’ll be working closely with them to guide discussions on hunger and engaging them in some of the work we’re already doing. It’s always inspiring to see youth take an interest in such a large community issue and proactively come up with ways they can help.”

Best of luck to the girls and congratulations on a job well done!

PARTNERS: Our Sisters’ School, United Way of Greater New Bedford, Boys & Girls Club, UMass Dartmouth, Destination Soup, Dennison Memorial Community Center, The Ceramic Canvas.

Our Sisters’ School is located at 145 Brownell Ave. in New Bedford.

Empty Bowls Project

This post was UPDATED on 2/21/19.