Empty Bowls fundraiser back to feed community, curb hunger

Empty Bowls is filled with opportunities. The annual fundraiser not only gives participants a tasty soup of their choice in a unique handcrafted bowl made locally they can keep and enjoy in a social setting, it helps meet other community members’ needs.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties will present in partnership with Wittenberg University the 29th version of Empty Bowls from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at Wittenberg’s Student Center Dining Hall.

Attendees can choose a bowl and get unlimited soup by local vendors for a $20 donation, or $10 for ages 12 and younger. The event is open to the public, and proceeds raised will go toward hunger relief over the three counties.

While Empty Bowls is a popular and anticipated event, Jennifer Brunner, Second Harvest development director, emphasized what it means in the tri-county area in 2024. Food insecurity is higher than a year ago because of inflation and several COVID benefits ending, resulting in more than 30 percent of new individuals seeking relief, which she said was even more than at COVID’s height.

“There’s a lot hitting at one time. We’re seeing more and more nonduplicate individuals who need our help,” Brunner said.

A year ago was the first in-person local Empty Bowls event since before COVID, and organizers want to see more people than in 2023 as pre-COVID habits begin to bring people back to what they liked doing before.

“Especially for Clark County, it’s about fellowship and serves as a reminder to be thankful and give back,” she said.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

As is tradition, Wittenberg professor of Art Scott Dooley has had his students as well as Springfield High School students and other local artists busy creating more than 1,000 unique bowls. The goal is to raise $45,000.

For anyone who can’t attend the Clark County event, the Champaign County Empty Bowls will be 5-8 p.m. April 11 and feature a unique theme of a soup crawl in which participants can visit various restaurants beginning at The Farmer’s Daughter to get their bowls created by Springfield High students.

Brunner said there will be no Logan County Empty Bowls event this year due to tornadoes that hit that area.

“Come hungry, appreciate all the restaurants who have provided the soups, the handcrafted bowls and helping in our relief efforts,” she said.

For more information on local Empty Bowls events, go to www.facebook.com/2ndHarvestOH/.


What: Empty Bowls 2024

Where: Wittenberg University Student Center Dining Hall, 734 Woodlawn Ave., Springfield

When: Thursday, April 4, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Admission: $20 donation

More info: www.facebook.com/2ndHarvestOH/

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