Helping the hungry in East Rockaway this holiday season


About 100 people ate dinner at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School and raised about $1,000 for Island Harvest Food Bank on Nov. 30 during the school’s second annual Empty Bowls fundraiser.
“It was bigger than the previous year’s, and we’re hoping to do even more next year” said Peter Ceglio, the fine arts director at the school.
High school art teachers Kristie Hirtin and Kelly Cabasso and elementary school art teacher Beth Brody organized the fundraiser. For two months before the event, the teachers assisted students, staff and community members in their efforts to make ceramic bowls that would be sold at the dinner.
“It was really their baby,” Ceglio said of the teachers.
The dinner cost $10 per person, and diners were treated to food catered by local restaurants, while the high school’s music department performed songs and art students from the school displayed their work. All of the proceeds benefitted Island Harvest, an organizations that seeks “to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island,” according to the organization’s website.
“It’s basically just to help the food bank and the hungry for the holiday season,” Ceglio said.
To find out more about Island Harvest, visit