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Brookdale Newsroom

‘Empty Bowls’ Raises Nearly $1,700 for Food Pantries

Brookdale employees, students and partners and volunteers came together to support community members in need on April 20 during the college’s 2017 Empty Bowls program, hosted by the Brookdale Employee Volunteer Connection (EVC).

The program, which offers bowls of freshly prepared soup, dessert, custom designed ceramic bowls and raffle prizes to members of the Brookdale community during College Hour, raised $1,680 for three worthy local causes.

The funds, raised during simultaneous Empty Bowls events in the Student Life Center, Larrison Hall and at the Wall Higher Education Center, will be presented to St. Anthony of Padua Church in Red Bank, the Samaritan Center in Manalapan, and Brookdale’s new Helping Hands initiative, which provides students in need with free food during the school day.

“Our goal, each year, is to draw attention to the fact that there are many ’empty bowls’ right here in Monmouth County, and to support those organizations and volunteers who are trying to change that,” said EVC coordinator Rosemary Kochman. “Many people don’t know that if a pantry runs out of food, they actually have to go out and buy more. But they never stop working. So we feel like we need to do our part as well.”

In addition to the donations, the Empty Bowls program also handed out three expertly crafted works of art to winners of this year’s Empty Bowls raffle, held simultaneously at all three locations. The winners were: Michael Inbro, Debbie Almeida and Jennifer Carrozzelli. 

As in years past, this year’s Empty Bowls program was supported by a wide range of volunteers and partners.

Art faculty members Lori Uffer and Erik Johanson worked with students to create and fire ceramic dishes and bowls; faculty and staff including Ed Stein and BJ Kosulavage joined local artists Jackie Sullivan, Lina Tambone and Diane Sweeney in donating their own work for door and raffle prizes; Brookdale’s Culinary Education Center staff and students prepared and donated soup and cake; CulinArt staff donated cupcakes and paper products; The Scroll and Pen Bookstore donated clay for creating bowls; Larrison Hall Cafe staff helped set up the dessert station; and Brookdale Lifelong Learning director Linda Martin helped EVC members sell remaining bowls during the college’s annual A Women’s Conference on April 21.

The Empty Bowls program was coordinated by Brookdale financial aid specialist Ellen Leung and Humanities Institute senior office assistant Phyllis Nicholson. 

“The Brookdale Community College Employee Volunteer Connection extends our thanks to all our sponsors, partners, contributing artists and our volunteers for making this event so successful every year,” Kochman said. 

Check out more photos of the 2017 Empty Bowls program here.