Oakton Community College's Empty Bowls event raises $29,000 for food pantries

Several hundred community members enjoyed a delicious meal on Saturday, Dec. 3, and took home beautifully handcrafted bowls while supporting local food pantries at Oakton Community College's Empty Bowls event. About 1,200 handcrafted soup bowls were sold, many of which will make a great holiday gift while supporting a great cause.

"We were so happy to finally have our Empty Bowls event in person after all these years. The crowd was amazing, with so many people coming out to support our cause. I want to thank everyone who joined us; we couldn't have done it without you!" says Oakton Chairman of Art and Design Lou Pierozzi, who also serves as an adviser for the Ceramics Club.

Admission was free, but for a donation of just $16, participants chose and kept their favorite artwork made by local professional and student potters, watched how bowls are made from different materials, enjoyed a simple lunch of soup and bread and listened to live music.

Sponsored by Oakton's Ceramics Club, Empty Bowls is part of a nonprofit, global movement that has raised awareness for local and worldwide hunger and millions of dollars for food banks, soup kitchens and other meal programs. This year, 100% of event proceeds will go to the following organizations: Des Plaines Self-Help Closet and Pantry, Interfaith Action of Evanston, Maine Township Food Pantry, New Trier Township Food Pantry, Niles Township Food Pantry and Northfield Township Food Pantry.

With outstanding facilities at the Des Plaines and Skokie campuses and online courses, the art department provides education in the studio and classroom. Oakton offers coursework in art history, ceramics, drawing, life drawing, painting, fundamentals of 2-D and 3-D design and museum studies. Small classes and individualized attention ensure students meet their educational goals in our art courses.

Credit and noncredit courses are available, serving both traditional-aged and adult students. Many of the students are retired and take art classes for fun and personal enrichment. In these classes, a sense of community and friendships are formed. Senior citizens receive a discounted price on tuition.

To register for classes, visit

Attendees of the Empty Bowls fundraising event at Oakton Community College enjoy a delicious meal of soup and bread. Courtesy of Oakton Community College
Many of Oakton's Ceramic Club members donated their work and volunteered for the annual Empty Bowls fundraising event. Courtesy of Oakton Community College
Lou Pierozzi shows attendees of the Empty Bowls fundraising event at Oakton Community College how bowls are made in clay. Courtesy of Oakton Community College
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