Cambrian: Opinion

Buying bowls helps fill plates

Bowls made by artist and teacher Stephanie Arehart will be offered at the Empty Bowls event.
Bowls made by artist and teacher Stephanie Arehart will be offered at the Empty Bowls event.

As we officially enter the time of “thanks-giving,” there is no more altruistic way to show it than by giving to others. Luckily for you, my friend, I’ve got a groovy way to do that, right here in Cambria.

Many people and businesses are making ready for the holidays, decorating, buying gifts, planning extravagant meals. And then there are those who are hoping to scrape together an extra loaf of bread to make a memorable meal, let alone put anything under a tree. (Or even have a tree.)

Again, Cambria is one of the most amazing communities when it comes to taking care of neighbors. It is a lesson many of us try to instill in our kids from an early age, whether it was giving one of my boys money to put in a scruffy hand or present a blanket or cup of coffee to someone on the street, there are ways to drive this point home — that most of us are better off than we realize.

My dear friend Stephanie Arehart started, seven years ago with Mr. Mark Kniffen’s leadership class at Santa Lucia Middle School, creating ceramic works of art for the “Empty Bowls Project” ( This year the project has the help of art teacher Suzette Milam-Morrow, her 3-D design students from Coast Union High School and students from Leffingwell High, as well as our many fine professional ceramic artists in Cambria. You will once again have a chance to buy a bowl and fill it up.

For a $20 donation, patrons will get to choose a beautiful handmade ceramic bowl made by the above mentioned and receive a cup of soup in their chosen bowl. All of the “empty bowls” are a reminder that there are always empty bowls needing to be filled. The money raised will go to the Cambria food bank to help your own neighbors.

I mean, I get tired of needing to “get something” to “give something” but this is a beautiful way to support these kids in their endeavor to help ease hunger locally and around the world. Mind you, that lesson is a big part of the project: educating our kids on the numbers of souls who don’t have enough to eat (for no good reason; just sayin’).

What a better night to hold this event than Hospitality Night on Friday, Dec. 6. Kinda gives it more OOMPH, eh? The good folks at the Garden Shed will host the gathering in their courtyard starting at 5:30 p.m. It will run until all the bowls are sold.

But wait, there’s more!

More good folks, the Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill, will FILL your bowls when you make that $20 purchase of a bowl! YUM! Again, all proceeds go to the Cambria Food Bank to help our friends right here at home (feel free to give more!!!). AND our students get a chance to make a difference in a creative, fulfilling way.

According to the website ( “We live in the world's wealthiest nation. Yet 14.5 percent of U.S. households— nearly 49 million Americans, including 15.9 million children — struggle to put food on the table. In the United States, hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty. Both issues must be addressed. ...

“The most direct way to reduce hunger in the U.S. is through national nutrition programs. But while food assistance to hungry people is vital, it is not enough.

We as a nation must come together to confront hunger and poverty in the United States.”

Support Empty Bowls. Then, take time to sit with your loved ones at a meal, eat slowly and mindfully and appreciate what you have. Be grateful — and feel better by sharing that blessing with others.