Van Buren High School’s art department has a goal this fall of making 400 bowls for the 2014 Empty Bowls event scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23.

Art students and art club members have begun to hand-build and wheel-throw ceramic bowls that will be glazed in eye catching colors for guests to peruse that evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the VBHS Commons, according to Kara Holland, high school art teacher.

Tickets are $15 and include each guest’s choice of bowl as well as a simple, symbolic dinner of soup and bread.

"After dinner, art club volunteer workers will wash the guests’ bowls so they may take home a unique piece of art work, serving as a reminder of all the empty bowls across our community and throughout the world," Holland said.

Tickets will be available in December from the Community Services Clearinghouse, Crawford County Center for Art and Education and any art club member or teacher.

All of the proceeds will be donated to the Community Services Clearinghouse and its "Meals for Kids" Program within the Van Buren School District.

Holland said the 2013 Empty Bowls event raised about $1,600 for the program.

The Meals for Kids program currently serves 321 Van Buren children and teenagers per week at $4 per student for an estimated monthly cost of $1,200.

"The children who are served are those whose main source of nourishment comes from school breakfast and lunches," Holland said. "On the weekend, these children go without proper nutrition, which affects all aspects of their lives."

The Meals for Kids provides a backpack for each child each Friday afternoon filled with non-perishable food items for the weekend. Included are crackers, beef jerky, breakfast items and fruit cups.

"Without these backpacks, these students would eat lunch on Friday and go without another meal until breakfast on Monday morning," Holland said.

She said the art club students are excited to help this program again this year. However, Holland pointed out the art club does not work alone in organizing this event.

"Last year, we partnered with several individuals from Leadership Crawford County," she said. "These generous community members have already gathered donation pledges for the event from local businesses."

Van Buren High School’s Family Career and Community Leaders of America again has pledged to get the entire school involved in this event by sponsoring a canned food drive to provide the vegetables for the soup.

"With the help of other clubs, community members, and sponsors we are able to raise money for this worthwhile program," Holland said.

Email for more information.