Fifth Empty Bowls raises funds, awareness for Ozarks Food Harvest

September 26, 2018

Area artists donated more than 300 bowls for the event supporting feeding programs across the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.— Ozarks Food Harvest and Panera Bread are partnering for the fifth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger in southwest Missouri. Currently, 1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults in southwest Missouri may not know where their next meal will come from.

Event-goers can make a donation to receive a handcrafted bowl and a meal of soup and bread, courtesy of Panera. The event will be held at Panera Bread, 4100 S. Campbell Ave. in Springfield from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28. Local artists have donated more than 300 bowls for the event. For a donation, attendees will be able to take home handmade wood, ceramic and marble bowls.

“Each and every one of these bowls serves as a reminder that there are people in this community who don’t have enough food,” said Denise Gibson, director of development and communication at Ozarks Food Harvest. “Donors can feel good knowing that every one dollar they donate at this event will provide four meals to someone in need.”

Since 2014, Empty Bowls has raised over $22,000 to provide nearly 90,000 meals through Ozarks Food Harvest’s feeding programs.

Each bowl available at the event will have a suggested donation price, along with information about the artist who made the bowl. There will also be several unique bowls and platters available through a silent auction. In addition, those who make a donation will be entered into a raffle to win Panera bagels or bread for a year.

“We are so thankful for all of the artists that donated beautiful, unique bowls this year,” said Gibson. “And we are so grateful for our partnership with Panera, who has been a wonderful community partner in the fight against hunger over the years.”

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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank
Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, providing food to 270 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties serving 261,000 unduplicated individuals. The Food Bank provides more than 17 million meals annually. Learn more at, or