Empty Bowls raises record $5,000 for Ozarks Food Harvest

Empty Bowls raises record $5,000 for Ozarks Food Harvest

October 1, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The second annual Empty Bowls to benefit Ozarks Food Harvest raised over $5,000 to provide 25,000 meals to hungry children, families and seniors in southwest Missouri. The regional food bank partnered with Panera Bread to offer a bowl handcrafted by a local artist, as well as soup and bread, in exchange for cash donations.

“We’re thrilled with the results from this year’s Empty Bowls. Area artists and community members came together to help their neighbors in need through this unique fundraiser,” said Denise Gibson, director of development and communication at Ozarks Food Harvest. “These bowls will serve as a daily reminder that hunger is a critical issue in the Ozarks, as one in six adults and one in four children may not know where their next meal will come from.”

The event, held on Sept. 25 in the parking lot of Panera on East Sunshine, drew a crowd of more than one hundred attendees. Nearly 50 area artists donated bowls for the event made from 19 varieties of wood, as well as hand-thrown pottery bowls, and even bowls crafted by Springfield elementary and college students. Over 200 bowls were sold to raise a record $5,073.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the results from this year’s event and our relationship with Ozarks Food Harvest,” said Elisa Kruger, regional catering sales manager and community relations manager for Panera Bread. “I’m also grateful for the generosity of the local artists that made it all possible.”

Bowls of various mediums and sizes were donated by local artists, including wooden bowls created by Ben Alexander, Ben & Chan Wood Art Studios; Helen Beeman; Russ Berquam; Arthur Cowger; Susan Dollar; Terry Fecho; David Van Giesen, DVG’s Man Cave; Mark Hannum; Jim Heck; Stan Horsch; Mike Ilkiw,; Pete Kuzks; Ernest Lorenc, Wood Originals; Larry Ludke, Your Turn; Dan McKinzie, As The Wood Turns; Richard Moist; Don Nelson; David Pettibone, Rottenpots Woodturning; Larry Randolph, President of the Woodturners; Michael Subblett; John Trainer, Tick Rock Woodturner Studio; Darrell West; Larry Wolfe; and Brian Woosley. Pottery bowls were donated by Kathlene (Kat) Allie and Cathy Clemens, Ozarks Technical Community College professors and their students; Kris Clement, Clement Clayworks; Keith Ekstam, Missouri State University professor and his students; Missouri State University Students, Ozarks Technical Community College students, Jennifer Farr, J. Rae Pottery; David Schuh; Lane Simmons and Mitch Yung, Evangel University professors; and Field Elementary fourth graders and the Springfield Pottery Claymobile. A painted bowl was donated by Ann Marie Rausch, AM Designs.

To get involved with Empty Bowls 2016, contact OFH’s Christine Temple at

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About Ozarks Food Harvest–The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank distributes 13.6 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at, or