STEP Empty Bowls spreads awareness of food insecurity in SLP

Event provides community opportunity to learn together


Abby Prestholdt

Junior Katie Casey hands a bowl full of soup and bread to a St. Louis Park citizen Feb. 13. Casey volunteered at the STEP Empty Bowls event alongside many Park students.

Sofie Geretz

Reflecting on the STEP Empty Bowls event Feb. 13, owner and artistic director of GoodSpace Murals Greta McLain said the event brings the community together while promoting a good cause.

“It’s so beautiful to see people coming together around a cause and also coming together on one of the coldest days of the year. We are going to go out, we are going to eat soup in the community, we are going to paint a mural in the community,” McLain said. “So to really make an effort to connect, and that’s what I love about these events, and then we all get to feel good about it because we’re supporting some good work.”

Abby Prestholdt
Two St. Louis Park citizens laugh as they look through STEP apparel Feb.13. The event was open for anyone in the community to get food and support STEP.

According to junior Liz Hodges, coming to STEP events like Empty Bowls is important, both to support the cause and the community.

“It’s really important to support community events like this and raise awareness for food insecurity in our community,” Hodges said. “I also volunteer at stuff, so it’s something that I personally think is a really good organization, and it’s an important thing.”

Junior Maddy Doherty said she appreciated the cooperation of people throughout the community in making the STEP event happen.

“It’s cool that the whole community comes together to support a good cause and people are willing to perform and volunteer,” Doherty said.

According to McLain, painting a mural as a part of the STEP event adds another level of interaction with the community.

“Empty Bowls in general is an amazing model of showing how arts and community organizing and community activists can work together,” McLain said. “And our projects and our techniques sort of follow that same idea. It’s really fun to be having both of those kinds of projects together in the same space.”

Doherty said she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people that showed up to the event.

“Just how many people came out to support the community to build relationships in the community and especially this STEP part that makes people feel like they’re not alone and know that they are supported by the community,” Doherty said.

Hodges said events like Empty Bowls is a great way to become more educated on prevalent community issues.

“Sometimes, especially for kids who don’t experience food insecurity, it’s easy to sort of be ignorant of the problem,” Hodges said. “I think that coming to this event can be a good opportunity to learn about it.”