Students from All Saints Day School, the Jubilee Center near the projects, and the Hoboken Charter School have sculpted over 300 multi-colored ceramic bowls for the fundraiser.
Everyone who attends Saturday's performances will receive food and a ceramic bowl to take home, reminding them that somewhere, someone's bowl is always empty.
The Empty Bowls fundraiser The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. inside the All Saints Church, where children will serve cereal and perform for those in attendance until 11:30 a.m.
The students wrote many of the songs and poems to be presented, which address the issues of world hunger and homelessness.
"It's a wonderful event that benefits so many people year after year," said Pastor Mary Forell of the St. Matthew-Trinity Lutheran Church. "It makes others aware of a problem that not enough people know about."
Later in the day, the Hoboken Charter School will continue the event at The Hoboken Shelter at 300 Bloomfield St. Participants will be seated at 12 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to view cultural presentations performed by the charter school students.
There will also be a class will that will address local homeless issues and explain the daily operations of the shelter, which provides sleeping accommodations for 50 adult men and women and meals for about 100 people every night.
Tickets for each event cost $6 and can be obtained in advance by contacting Jill Singleton, the head of the All Saints Day School, at (201) 792-0736 or Beth Kilmer, the Arts and Service coordinator at the Hoboken Charter School, at (201) 963-0222.
A worldwide effort The "Empty Bowls" events began in a Michigan classroom 16 years ago as a way to raise funds for a local food drive. They have since grown into an international happening that has raised millions of dollars for hunger relief programs throughout the world.
From Germany to Finland, to the Republic of Korea, school children participate in the Empty Bowls Project to combat world hunger and bring awareness to their local communities.
Most Empty Bowls events coincide with the International World Food Day, a United Nations- sponsored event that started in 1981 and is observed annually on Oct. 16.
Singleton and Kilmer brought the Empty Bowls fundraiser to Hoboken in 1999. Since then, the project has raised over $70,000. Last year alone the project brought in over $15,000.
An additional food drive In addition to the Empty Bowls fundraiser, children from the schools will be participating in a food drive that involves the whole family.
Throughout Saturday, parents will be standing alongside their children outside of King's Supermarkets, the A&P, and Shop Rite accepting monetary donations and food items for local homeless shelters.
After all the items are collected, children ages 3 to 18 years old will deliver food on Monday to the St. Matthew's Lunchtime Ministry, the Hoboken Homeless Shelter, and the "In Jesus' Name" emergency food pantry.
"The kids feel empowered. They are the ones who will be actually carrying the food to the shelters. Whether they can carry a can or an entire bag of food, they all take part in the event. They all see the difference they are making," said Singleton.
Weeks after the food drive, the children will return to the shelter and pantries to be recognized for their efforts by those who run the organizations and the homeless men and women for which the project was created.
Curriculum in the schools For the event, children learn the causes and effects of hunger and homelessness at their schools through literature and class activities as well.
Sixth graders at the Hoboken Charter School interview men and women who have been or are currently without a home to better understand the perplexities of the issue.
"The children really look forward to this event every year," said Kilmer. "They enjoy making the bowls, but at the same time they get a sense of responsibility from everything they're learning."
"Hopefully, they will remain conscious of the issue when they get older," Kilmer added.
Michael Mullins can be reached at email@example.com :