Local potters, woodworkers, and glassblowers have spent countless hours making bowls this past year to donate to Empty Bowls, an annual event that aims to fill the empty bowls of Pierce County residents in need.
Each year, the line starts forming an hour before the doors open. Then the search for the “best” bowls begins. Preference, of course, is relative. One person might grab a bowl donated by Throwing Mud Gallery, and another person chooses a bowl made by a local artist at the Washington State Fair. Once selections are made and purchased, with all proceeds going to Emergency Food Network (EFN), attendees make their way to eat free soup, donated and served by Chambers Bay Grill, Indo Asian Street Eatery, Infinite Soups, Pacific Grill, Spring Lake Café, Stanley and Seaforts, The Swiss, and X-Group Restaurants.
It’s an annual tradition enjoyed by more than 500 people each year. More than 1,000 bowls are purchased for the home or for holiday gifts, and more than 700 bowls of soup are consumed over two and a half hours. This year’s event is Saturday, November 18, 2017 at Charles Wright Academy from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm. Admission is FREE. Bowl prices start at $10.
Empty Bowls began as a grassroots project for local artists and community members to work together to assist people suffering from hunger. The event now spans to twelve countries and many states across the U.S., generating millions of dollars for various hunger relief agencies. For the last 18 years, EFN has hosted Empty Bowls in Pierce County, highlighting works from talented veteran artists and new local talent. In 2016, EFN raised over $31,000 from Empty Bowls. This is the equivalent of 160,000 meals for food-insecure Pierce County residents.
Sponsors for this year’s Empty Bowls event include Heartland Express, Whole Foods Market Chambers Bay, Coordinated Care, HomeStreet Bank, Inn at Gig Harbor, Johnson Stone and Pagano, Kidder Matthews, Panattoni Development, UFCW Local 367, and Zack Rosenbloom & Associates.
The continued success of Empty Bowls is due to the overwhelming community support from artists who donate the bowls, volunteers who set up and help run the event, local restaurants that donate soup, and the 500-plus community members who attend the event.
For more information about Empty Bowls www.efoodnet.org/event/empty-bowls-2017