by Trevor Hershner
Starvation and hunger may seem like a stretch for many, but it is real and affecting students within the Stuart community. According to FCPS, 60.08 percent of students at Stuart High School are on free or reduced lunch, and 50 percent of those students receive free lunch. This is the highest percentage of any high school in Fairfax County. While many do receive free school meals, there is no way to provide food for the entire day, weekends, and the summer. To bring attention to this issue Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club Community Service Director, Kate Walter, and J.E.B. Stuart staff members Rebecca Corallo, Amy Nast, and Lindsey Augustine created the Empty Bowls.
Ceramics Students created bowls made out of clay that were purchased at the event. Tickets for the event cost twenty dollars and provided food and one bowl that could be chosen to take home.
“There were about eight to ten students who were most upper level ceramics students and a few beginners,” said Amy Nast. “They made the bowls on the potter wheel. The bowls were made out of clay and then glazed.”
The event took place on Tuesday, April 24th and was aimed at explaining to community members how preserving leftover food could make a huge impact in the lives of people in the community. Stuart is one of only two schools in Fairfax County which has the Student Led, Student Fed program. This program lets students throw unused food in bins to be eaten by other later, instead of throwing the food away.
“It is important because we are supporting our students and community by recovering food that would be trash and giving it back to the students,” said Stuart student Carlos Cruz. “It impacted our community by providing them with information about our project.”
This student led event tasked the students with the making of the bowls, speeches to their guests and serving food to the guests. Although the turnout was smaller than they had hoped it was a great success and they will be continuing this program by making it an annual event.
“We hope that making this an annual event will pull students together within our school that may not normally interact and help each other,” said Corallo. “We want to pull students from different backgrounds within Stuart and have them take an interest in their own community. We know the problem, we now have to be proactive about it.”