• Brian Diller

The "Empty Bowls" Concept

Updated: May 6

The original Empty Bowls began in 1990 in a Michigan High School. The Art Teacher wanted to raise awareness among his students about food insecurity in their community. They sculpted and fired ceramic bowls, painted them, then used them to serve soup at

Empty Bowls Mission

the first Empty Bowls Soup and Bread Luncheon. After the meal, guests took the empty bowls home to serve as a reminder of the ongoing prevalence of hunger among populations in need.


Since then, hundreds of independent Empty Bowls organizations have been created all around the world. Each operates under their own governance, with individualized missions. The common denominator among them is the emphasis on raising awareness and funding to combat hunger in their respective communities.


Since 2007, Empty Bowls Monongalia has has focused on raising funds to assist our 24 partner agencies, each working tirelessly to meet the needs of those they serve. Another strong component of our mission is to increase awareness of how wide spread hunger is in our community. We accomplish this through public speaking and other civic engagements, fundraising events, partnering with the Arts and School Communities and media partnerships.


Empty Bowls has grown tremendously over the past 15 years. In that time, we have raised more than 1.3 million dollars that has been distributed back into the local community. Although the amount of money raised is a blessing, it is also a testament to how critical the need still is here at home.



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