Third Annual Empty Bowls Event to Support Hunger Relief & the Arts on March 24

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ – The Hightstown Cultural Arts Commission and Rise will host the third annual Empty Bowls on March 24 from 5-8 pm at the Peddie School Cafeteria (Campus Center) in Hightstown. Empty Bowls is an international program that engages participating artists to create and donate handmade bowls in which a simple meal is served to a gathering of caring community members.

Local ceramic artist and Cultural Arts Commissioner Adam Welch created a limited edition of 300 hand thrown stoneware soup bowls for the event along with 100 additional bowls made by Hightstown High School and Peddie School art students. Ticket buyers will select a bowl to fill with hot soup from Hightstown eateries. Food sponsors include 12 Farms, Tavern on the Lake, Byrne Café & Deli, Pompier Catering and Panera (as of 1/29)

Net proceeds from the event will benefit Rise, the community services organization based in Hightstown. Rise Executive Director Leslie Koppel said, “We plan to use the proceeds from Empty Bowls to support the Rise Food Pantry,” she said. “We appreciate the generous support of individuals and other groups, and this event is a wonderful way to share with our community.”

Hightstown Cultural Arts Commission Chair Ann Marie Miller said, “We are thrilled to partner with Rise for the third year and now for the first time with Peddie School. Last year’s successful event raised over $12,000 that supported the food pantry and helped the Arts Commission plan public art and cultural programs like Hightstown Theatre in the Park.

Tickets for the event are $35 and may be purchased online through and at the Greater Goods stores in Hightstown. Sponsors to date include the Muslim Center of Greater Princeton, Northfield Bank, and BCB Community Bank of Monroe. Sponsorship opportunities are also detailed at SignUpGenius. Ticket buyers do not need to be present at the event to reserve their one-of-a-kind soup bowl. Commissioner Miller said, “We look forward to another successful evening filled with smiling faces of generous community members who found a delicious and artful way to give back.”

2018 empty bowls flyer (1)

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Cold weather is on its way – and so are winter heating bills.

Help is available now.

For those who need help paying their heating bills, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)/Universal Service Fund (USF) is available to eligible customers beginning October 1, 2017. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is designed to help low-income families and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs. To qualify for LIHEAP, you must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent.

When you apply for LIHEAP, you automatically apply for the Universal Service Fund Program (USF). If you are eligible, USF can lower the amount you pay for gas and electricity.

LIHEAP funds are limited. For USF/LIHEAP applications,a list of agencies that accept USF/LIHEAP applications and more information, visit, or call the Department of Community Affairs at 1-800-510-3102.

Size of LIHEAP Monthly USF Monthly Household Gross Houshold Gross Household Income Income

  • 1 person $2,010 $1,759
  • 2 persons $2,707 $2,368
  • 3 persons $3,403 $2,978
  • 4 persons $4,100 $3,588
  • 5 persons $4,797 $4,197
  • 6 persons $5,493 $4,807
  • 7 persons $6,190 $5,416
  • 8 persons $6,887 $6,026
  • Amount for each additional member for households greater than 12 $697 $610

Nov 2017 Topic of the Month – Help is Available Now