Students at Van Buren High School work very hard on the Empty Bowls fundraiser, according to Susan Ross of the Community Services Clearinghouse.

Last year, the event raised more than $3,500 for the Community Services Clearinghouse’s “Meals for Kids” backpack program in the Van Buren School District, Ross pointed out.

This year’s event is set for Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the commons at VBHS.

Meals for Kids provides a backpack full of food on Friday afternoons to students who would otherwise not have adequate nutrition until they returned to school on Monday morning, said Kara Holland, VBHS art teacher.

Tickets are $15, which includes a handmade ceramic bowl and dinner of vegetable beef soup and homemade bread.

Holland said guests are invited to choose a ceramic bowl that has been handcrafted by students and a few guest artists.

“Guests will then share a dinner of soup and bread with other community members,” she said. “After dinner, attendees will take the bowls home as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.”

Also on sale this year will be table runners donated by the Quilter’s Guild, Holland said.

Tickets for Empty Bowls can be purchased at the door or in advance during school hours at the front desk at VBHS.