The 260 students in teacher Laura Victore's ceramics classes at Lakewood Ranch High School created bowls that would be sold to raise money to benefit Meals on Wheels Plus Manatee.
On May 3 at Lakewood Ranch High School, the students held an event to sell the bowls while providing information about hunger statistics for Manatee County and Florida.
Maribeth Phillips, the president and CEO of Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, was thrilled when the students presented her with a check for $2,500.
“It was fun for it to be our last project (of the school year) because we were able to incorporate all the different techniques we learned over the year,” sophomore Ainsley Owens said. “We had total creative freedom over it.”
Owens said participating in the project makes her want to do more to support nonprofits like Meals on Wheels Plus Manatee.
Besides the monetary donation, the students also donated 25 ceramic bowls the nonprofit could use at its annual Empty Bowls fundraiser in the fall.
Phillips hopes other high school ceramics classes start making bowls like Lakewood Ranch’s students to support Meals on Wheels Plus Manatee.
“I am in awe of their thoughtfulness, the research they did and them coming up with these bowls and the whole concept of selling them to raise money for Meals on Wheels Plus,” Phillips said. “It’s just incredible. They are setting an example for all the other high schools because they look like they had fun with it, so they were having fun and doing something for a great cause.”
Phillips said the $2,500 the students raised will provide 2,500 meals to families across Manatee County.
“While we are leaving COVID somewhat in the shadows, we are entering into this inflationary period where people have to decide whether to pay for gas or rent, so they’re going to rely on the pantries and the food bank,” Phillips said. “Doing a fundraiser like this is so critical in helping us to make sure we get that nutrition out to the community.”