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Empty Bowls Food Bank Fundraiser


I’ve heard so many people tell me that they’d like to make a difference in their own community in the area of food.  Their concern is often that they’re “not qualified”, “really busy” or “don’t have money to donate”, all valid concerns.  Fortunately, none of them really matter.  There’s not just one way to impact food access in your community.  You don’t have to teach cooking classes (though they sure are fun!).  You don’t even have to have money to make something happen.  A great example is the Empty Bowls Fundraiser.


Empty Bowls is a grass roots movement to help provide funds for food banks.  It’s an idea that anyone can use to raise food for their local food bank.


Basically, local artists, art teachers, students, community members, and anyone else  who’s interested create handcrafted bowls.  The Auburn Foodbank just had their event and got quite a few bowls donated from the art program of the local community college.


People pay the requested amount (this event was $15) and first get to pick out a wooden or ceramic bowl to serve as a reminder of how many empty bowls are out there due to people being unable to afford food.


After you pick out your bowl, you get to have a bowl of soup and piece of bread, a kind of  “soup kitchen” experience with  your community.

soup-empty-bowlsSeveral varieties of soup were donated by local restaurants and the culinary arts program at one of the local high schools.  The students from the culinary arts program did a great job serving everyone.


The best thing about this event is that it didn’t cost the Food Bank anything!  The cost of the event was under $300, and that was covered by a donation.  But it raised $7500!!!


This is a great example of thinking outside the box to make a difference.  It was a win-win for all of Auburn.  Money was raised to help provide healthy food for those who needed it and hundreds of us walked away with some gorgeous bowls!  I’d love to know any ideas or programs you’ve heard about for changing the food system in a community.  Maybe something you’ve done or thought about doing, or something you’ve seen someone else do.  The more ideas we can share the more we can make a difference!

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