CCAC South Campus students help to address hunger and food insecurity with pottery

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South Campus students 2
Article by: CCAC public Relations

Honors Ceramics students host an open studio in support of Empty Bowls project 

PITTSBURGH-Students, faculty and staff at the Community College of Allegheny County's South Campus got their hands dirty for a good cause last week. Honors Ceramics students led a service learning project in which they invited the campus community to create ceramic bowls for donation to the "Empty Bowls" fundraiser. The March event, organized by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Just Harvest, is held to raise awareness, as well as money, to help fight hunger and food insecurity in the region.

"It's a really cool event for a great cause," said Scott Cornish, associate professor of Art, who was surprised by the statistics. "It's pretty astounding, the number of people who are food insecure in Allegheny County."

Honors Ceramics students enthusiastically chose the activity to fulfill the honors component of the class. Throughout last Friday afternoon, five students guided 15 to 20 participants-students, faculty and staff-who wanted to try their hand at throwing a bowl on the potter's wheel, which is not an easy undertaking. Between 30 and 40 bowls were created, which will be fired and glazed by the students. The nicest ones, about 25, will be donated to the Empty Bowls event.

"It was great to see the students actually doing the teaching," said Cornish. "They showed they had learned what I taught them, and they were able to convey that skill to others. They did a really great job."

Prepared by top chefs, the simple community meal of soup and bread served at the Empty Bowls event is designed to help remind people of the one in eight residents of Allegheny County who are facing hunger. The dinner typically draws more than 1,500 people, and in the past 20 years has raised more than $500,000 to fight hunger in our region. Each participant will take home a handmade ceramic bowl as a reminder.

To learn more about CCAC's Arts programs, visit

Photos: CCAC Honors Ceramics students teach fellow students and faculty members how to throw a bowl on a potter's wheel. 

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