By: Macy Goodnight | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: February 2019
Kim Goddard, Executive Director, Broken Arrow Neighbors.
Hope is like a flame for those who struggle, fueled by the kindness and compassion of those willing to serve to assist people in need. Since 2013, a collaboration within the Broken Arrow community has risen to the challenge, raising awareness of hunger and food insecurity in the area with Empty Bowls; an annual event presented by Broken Arrow Neighbors, Broken Arrow Public Schools, St. Stephen’s Church, and BA Food For Kids.
In its 6th year, Empty Bowls will be held on February 26th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in the cafeteria at Broken Arrow High School. Kim Goddard, Executive Director of Broken Arrow Neighbors, and Jennifer Deal, BAPS Art Educator, orchestrates the many facets of the event each year. “With our community partnership, we try to help people be more aware of food insecurities,” said Kim. “Our focus is upon the aspects of what hunger looks like.”
According to okpolicy.org, more than 654,000 Oklahomans are food insecure, meaning many Oklahomans do not have access to enough food for a healthy lifestyle. BA Neighbors and St. Stephen’s Church Women’s Group work in collaboration with the Oklahoma Food Bank to manage the BA Food For Kids Backpack Program within the School District. This program provides nutritious, kid-friendly food to food insecure students to take home after school on Fridays. Without this food, many students would return to school on Monday having eaten little or no food over the weekend.
Proceeds from Empty Bowls are shared between BA Neighbors and the BA Food For Kids Program. “It’s a great opportunity for the community to support these programs,” said Kim. “It’s not only a fun event, but it’s also very informative. Many people lack the understanding of recognizing food insecurity.”
Hand-crafted specialty bowls available with meals and for silent auction.
A service learning project, the entire event is mostly student driven. BAHS students volunteer for different jobs, as well as contribute inspiring entertainment segments, including poetry readings, song, or dance. All artwork for Empty Bowls is contributed by BA students. “It’s incredible to see how involved the students get into the event,” said Jennifer. “They are engaged in making a positive impact raising money for these programs. I think it’s wonderful these kids take ownership of the event and recognize the problem we have with food insecurity and hunger.”
Tickets for Empty Bowls are $10 and includes a hand-made bowl to take home. Each bowl was crafted by one of many students with the Broken Arrow school district, especially for the event. “With each bowl, everyone receives a meager meal of soup and bread,” said Kim. “It’s enlightening to see what it’s like to not have everything you want, but something in your belly.” Area restaurants support the event with donations or reduced costs for the soups and breads available.
In addition to a meal, take-home bowl, and student presentations, there is a silent auction. Volunteers and donations are welcome. Tickets for Empty Bowls may be purchased in advance at BA Neighbors or at the High School.
Empty Bowls Sponsorships:
BREAD Level - $50
Includes 2 Empty Bowl tickets; commemorative event object; name entered in drawing for 2 “Wine, Eats & Easels” tickets**
SOUP Level - $75
Includes 4 Empty Bowl tickets; commemorative event object; name entered twice in drawing for 2 “Wine, Eats & Easels” tickets**
BOWL Level - $100
Includes 6 Empty Bowl tickets; commemorative event object; event t-shirt; name entered four times in drawing for 4 “Wine, Eats & Easels” tickets**
**Must be over 21 to attend Wine, Eats & Easels
All sponsorships will be recognized in all social media, event publications, and event program.
Student work, mindful of event’s purpose.
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