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Students Make Ceramic Art Bowls to Help Feed the Hungry

Ernest Righetti High School students used ceramic art skills to raise more than $3,600 for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to ensure the less fortunate have food to eat this holiday season throughout the Santa Maria Valley.

The school’s second annual Empty Bowls Project involved more than 200 students who decided to learn about recycled clay and community service.

The event, which recently occurred at the Santa Maria Fair Park, also featured several local chefs who filled the students’ colorful and individualized ceramic creations with a delicious variety of soups. The bowls sold for $25 each, and St. Joseph’s High School also participated.

The clay scrapes were donated by Allan Hancock College ceramics instructor Bob Nichols and $500 from the Santa Barbara County Education Office to help out with special clay paint and glaze.

“We all feel inspired about being able to feed the community,’’ said ERHS art teacher LeeAnne Del Rio, adding that the students never gave up until their creations were completed.

ERHS senior Owen Iness described the project as challenging. His creation was a tree, colored green and brown.

“A tree represents life and food to me,’’ Iness said. “It was a lot harder than it looked ... but it was worth it.’‘

— Kenny Klein represents the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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