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Woodland Elementary West to raise awareness of hunger, the arts

GURNEE – Local potters, businesses and schools are coming together from 6 to 7:30 p.m. April 3 at the Woodland Elementary West School cafeteria for the fifth annual Empty Bowls food drive and fundraiser to benefit the Warren Township Food Pantry. 

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots organization created to fight hunger and raise hunger awareness in local communities.

Elementary West third-grade students crafted pots of clay as a reminder of homes with empty bowls in their communities, and local potters from College of Lake County, Warren Township High School and Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Stirling Hall Art Center have worked together to create hundreds of ceramic bowls to sell that day for a donation to benefit the Warren Township Food Pantry.

This year, there also will be raffles of serving dishes donated by staff members of the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Stirling Hall Art Center. 

“The project benefits the Woodland community by increasing hunger awareness and empathy for those who are less fortunate, by bringing community groups together for an important cause, by demonstrating the importance of learning in the arts, and by making the arts relevant to the children and the broader community,” said Marion Beram, a Woodland Elementary West art teacher who spearheaded the effort. 

In exchange for a nonperishable food donation, families are invited to participate in a light dinner of soup and bread donated by Arbor Management, the Woodland food service provider. Each child participant will get a bag of books donated by Half Price Books. 

Last year, nearly 400 people attended the event at Woodland Elementary West, which resulted in the Warren Township Food Pantry receiving $2,700, as well as enough food to fill a school bus. 

Official sponsors of the event are Lake Forest Parks and Recreation, Stirling Hall Art Center, College of Lake County, Warren Township High School, Woodland PTA and Mariano’s. 

Woodland Elementary West School is at 17371 Gages Lake Road, Gages Lake. For information, call Marion Beram at 847-984-8900. 

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