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Empty Bowls gives back, inspires community

A variety of bowls made by students that were available for sale at the event. Photo by Rebecca Osowski

On April 1, Empty Bowls held its fifth annual event, its first in-person since 2019, benefiting Centre Street Food Pantry in Newton. The club’s handmade bowls were sold, auctioned, and raffled off at the event.

Empty Bowls made 350 bowls for the event and to date, has raised over $2,700. More opportunites to raise are coming soon, as bowls will be sold at Lasell Village and at Symposium on April 28.

“It was a huge success,” Assistant Professor of Art and Graphic Design and Empty Bowls advisor Deborah Baldizar said. “We had record turnout… and we made the most money we have ever made.”

In addition to the money raised, Baldizar emphasized the mission, how important it is to get involved in fighting food insecurity, and “the power of art to make a difference in the world”.

Taylor Lies, a volunteer at Centre Street Food Pantry, attended and spoke at the event and praised the club and the entire Lasell community for their work and dedication to fighting food insecurity.

“Our partnership with Empty Bowls is so inspiring. To see a group of young adults be so dedicated to impacting food insecurity and doing so with such creativity is amazing,” Lies said. “I continue to be impressed with the entire Lasell community. We were thankful for such great turnout from the students, faculty, staff, and Lasell Village residents.”

Junior finance and accounting major Michael Palumbo is not a member of the club but understands the value of their work. “I went to Empty Bowls because I like what it stands for. I like the idea of being able to support the community especially in food security and crises like that. I really enjoy what they stand for and I like that our school has something like that we can outreach for,” Palumbo said.

Palumbo bought six bowls at the event, stating “I like to be able to do my part.”

He also stressed his belief in the importance of the community helping others around them. “I think it’s really important, even though Newton itself is quite affluent, I think there’s still a lot that people overlook in the area,” Palumbo said. “I think that it’s really important that Lasell students do what they can to be able to outreach to the community because it’s important to help people around you despite what situation you may be in, and what situation they may be in. I think it’s really important to help those that don’t really ask for help all the time.”

Junior psychology major and Empty Bowls President Beverly Banks is involved in the club because she wants to help bring awareness to food insecurity.

“Food insecurity is something that I haven’t personally dealt with so I feel it’s something that I could choose to ignore, but I feel if we all just did that then people aren’t helped. I think that people do need that support and if we are able to help, why not,” Banks said. “I want to be involved in the community that I’m in and try to help other people. I just love the mission of the club too, because we are incorporating students’ love for art into doing good.”

Members of the community crowd the table of hand-made bowls to pick one to take home with them. Photo by Rebecca Osowski

In addition to hosting its annual event, Empty Bowls is looking to continue to raise more money each year and involve more students and clubs on campus. The club is looking to plan more collaborations with athletics and encourage the community to get involved in a variety of ways, including attending their weekly meetings and open glaze nights, donating raffle basket items, spreading the word about the event, and volunteering directly with the Centre Street Food Pantry.

If you are interested in getting involved with Empty Bowls, please reach out to Beverly Banks ( or Professor Baldizar ( For those struggling with food insecurity on campus, there is a self-serve dry food pantry located in Klingbeil House. It is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m.


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