The Canal Winchester High School Empty Bowls project hopes to fill more than handcrafted bowls on Feb. 5: The students hope to fill the Community Food Pantry's donation box as well.

The Canal Winchester High School Empty Bowls project hopes to fill more than handcrafted bowls on Feb. 5: The students hope to fill the Community Food Pantry's donation box as well.

The Empty Bowls project is an international effort to end hunger, according to the project website, www.emptybowls.net.

The premise is that craftspeople create handcrafted bowls, invite guests to a simple meal of soup and bread, and in exchange for a donation, attendees keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.

The bowls will be sold at the food pantry's Souper Bowl open house, which will include a lunch of soup, bread and dessert. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, at the new Community Food Pantry location, 360 W. Waterloo St.

"I'm not surprised by the generosity of the art students who wanted to partner with us to make our Souper Bowl open house a special day," Canal Winchester Human Services executive director Penny Miller said. "Not only are they giving their time and talents, but they raised the money to cover the expenses of the clay and glazing, too."

CWHS art teacher Kelly Helser said the art club donated the supplies so that all of the money used to purchase the vessels at the Souper Bowl event will go to directly to the food pantry.

"Penny asked us if we'd get involved making bowls, and we want to help any way we can," Helser said. "The kids wanted to participate, so the ceramics class and the art club did a bowl-making workshop. We're hoping to have about 100 bowls for sale, but it's a challenge, timewise, getting them made, glazed and fired."

Helser said about 20 students and a few teachers have been involved with the project. All who participated said they would love to do it again in the future.

"I just really love helping others, that's how I've always been," junior Alexus Johnson said. "I help the community because it makes me feel like I've done something good and that makes me happy.

"I feel bad that there is this extra need right now, but I'm glad the pantry is there and helping. If we do this again next year, I'll most definitely participate."

Johnson's classmates agreed. Helser said as long as the need is there, she would expect the kids will want to do it again.

"I participated because I love to express myself through art, so to be able to make pots that help someone else is even better," senior Ebonee Green said. "I'm sure this will help my community, and that helps me in the long run."

Sophomore Savannah Saeger said doing what she loves for a good cause makes this project special.

"I'm a little out of practice, so I made six bowls so far but a couple broke," Saeger said. "I love ceramics, though, and just the point of helping people by doing what I love makes it so much better."

Fellow sophomore Craig Fowlkes said he agreed that the project was a good fit because of his interest in art and community service.

"I love art and helping others, so it's a really good project for me," Fowlkes said. "I feel really bad that there are a lot of people in need and I wish we could help each and every one of them."

More information about the open house is available online at www.cwhumanservices.org.