Empty Bowls




Empty Bowls is an internationally-recognized event to fight hunger in communities around the United States and throughout the world. In 1990, John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn, art educators in Michigan, created Empty Bowls to connect artists with an opportunity to make a meaningful difference.

It began with a relatively simple concept: students would handcraft ceramic bowls and invite faculty to a soup lunch. In exchange for a donation, faculty could keep one of the handcrafted bowls home as a reminder that somewhere in the community someone’s bowl is empty.

Now, more than twenty years later, countless communities throughout the United States and around the world have embraced this grassroots project to fight the pervasive problem of hunger.

The Neighbors’ Place began hosting its Empty Bowls event to increase awareness around food security in Marathon County. Since then, the event has continued to grow and has raised funds to fight hunger in the community through The Neighbors' Place food pantry and basic needs programs.


For a $12 donation, guests receive their choice of a handcrafted bowl and a meal of soup, bread, and dessert. Local restaurants and chefs donate their signature soups, bread, and desserts, and there is always different types of soup to try!

This event also offers Soup To Go, live music, raffle items and a silent auction. All money raised at this event benefits people seeking food assistance from The Neighbors’ Place Food Pantry.

Empty Bowls 2020 was supported by these great sponsors - thank you!

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