Carol Visnapuu

Joe Arena '20 was one of several students to make a ceramic bowl for the fundraiser.

This year, Berkshire School will donate around 100 handmade ceramic bowls for the Empty Bowls Dinner on December 6, 2019, hosted by the Wahconah Regional High School National Honor Society in Dalton, Mass. All proceeds from the event will be divided and shared among the local food pantries in Berkshire County.

The concept of “Empty Bowls” started in 1990 as an art class project to raise funds for a local food drive. An art teacher, John Hartom from Lahser High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., came up with the idea for his students to make ceramic bowls and invite the school community to select a bowl and enjoy soup and bread for a small donation. The guests got to keep the empty bowl to remind them of all the empty bowls in the world.

Brandi Dahari, who teaches ceramics at Berkshire, is passionate about the Empty Bowls movement and shared her personal story about hunger during a Monday all-school meeting. Dahari shared, “Having experienced hunger and food insecurity in my early years, I feel strongly about the right of every individual to have enough food to eat.”

Over the past five years, Dahari and her ceramic students have been committed to making, painting, and glazing bowls to donate to the Wahconah National Honor Society, which her husband David Dahari co-advises.

Mrs. Dahari Empty Bowls

Ceramics teacher Brandi Dahari helps a student make a ceramic bowl for Empty Bowls.

This November, Dahari invited the Berkshire School community to come into her classroom on a Sunday afternoon to make and paint ceramic bowls for the cause. In preparation for this activity, Dahari made 45 bowls for the community to decorate.

It was a great turnout of students and faculty and their families. Joe Arena ’20, who created and molded his ceramic bowl by hand, said, “I really connected with Mrs. Dahari’s story at all-school meeting and wanted to get involved. I enjoyed the community aspect of this activity—the combination of student generosity and faculty hospitality made the experience feel very warm and welcoming.”

“Empty Bowls is an amazing combination of all of my passions because it allows everyone in the community to take part by bringing people together around the table, and it puts handmade pottery in many homes and lends support to families in need," Dahari added.

The Empty Bowls Dinner will be held at Wahconah Regional High School in Dalton, Mass., on Friday, December 6 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 for a single entry or $20 for a family and can also be purchased at the door.

Click here to learn more about Empty Bowls.