LINWOOD — Teachers, parents and students at Seaview Elementary and Belhaven Middle School are working together to warm hearts and fill tummies this winter with their Empty Bowls project and soup party.

With the help of the Linwood PTO and Mainland Regional High School, art teachers and students are making bowls for a fundraiser to be held noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21 at Seaview School for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch.

The fundraiser will feature handmade bowls and soup provided by area restaurants.

Seaview students came after school to make bowls Nov. 20. Art teacher Kim Petrella placed a damp disc of gray clay in front of each student, provided detailed  instruction, and then gave the young potters the freedom to make a bowl however they chose.

The designs reflected the artistic taste and personality of the students. Logan Winters, 5, made a bowl designed after his favorite action hero, Superman, whose image was on the shirt he was wearing. 

As the students scored, crimped and painted the clay, Petrella explained that the project would help raise money and provide food for kids and families. 

The bowls would later go into the kiln to be fired, and after that they would be glazed.

Dozens of finished bowls stacked in the back of the art room were evidence of Seaview’s contribution to the project, which is expected to total more than 100 bowls.

Over at Belhaven, art teacher Robin Moore said she hopes to contribute 50 to 100 bowls to the project between what the students, staff and parents make.

“I love that it allows my students to use their creativity to make a beautiful piece of pottery, and they got to be part of a larger event that supports so many others,” she said. “I am so thrilled that the project runs from Seaview to Belhaven and all the way to Mainland. Its been fabulous collaborating with all the art teachers involved.” 

The bowls will be sold for $10 each at the fundraiser. The price also includes all-you-can-eat soup and bread.

The bowls are for taking home; disposable bowls will be provided for sampling the soup.

Fourth-grade students at Seaview School wrote letters to area restaurants and businesses asking for donations of soup and bread for the project.

This is the second time Petrella has spearheaded an Empty Bowls project to raise money for the food bank.

Ten restaurants contributed soup for the last fundraiser, and organizers hope to double that number this year.

The event will also feature live music and a bake sale. 

Moore said she has heard from parents and alumni who want to be involved, so she is devoting two nights this month to the project — one in which they will make a bowl, and the second to return and glaze it. Anyone interested in making a bowl is asked to email her at

Restaurants and suppliers who want to provide soup or bread are asked to email

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Contact: 609-601-5197 

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