Third annual Empty Bowls to collect funds, raise awareness to fight hunger locally

Third annual Empty Bowls to collect funds, raise awareness to fight hunger locally

September 21, 2016

Nearly 60 area artists donated 215 handcrafted bowls for the event at Panera Bread

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks Food Harvest and Panera Bread are partnering for the third annual Empty Bowls to raise awareness and funds for the one in six adults and one in four kids who struggle with hunger right here in the Ozarks.

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 located at 4100 S. Campbell Ave. in Springfield from 4:30-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.

Nearly 60 local artists have donated 215 bowls for the event. Attendees will be able to take home bowls made from 21 varieties of wood, hand-thrown pottery, and even a bowls made from marble and a gourd.

“Empty Bowls is a simple concept that makes a big impact. The bowls created by these generous artists serve as a reminder that hunger is happening right here in our community,” said Denise Gibson, Ozarks Food Harvest’s director of development and communication. “And all the donations made at the event will remain local to help the children, families and seniors who struggle with hunger. In fact, every $1 donated to Ozarks Food Harvest provides five meals.”

In the first two years of the event, Empty Bowls raised $6,600. Those donations provided 33,000 meals through Ozarks Food Harvest’s feeding programs.

Each bowl available at this year’s event will have a suggested donation price between $10 and $50, along with information about the artist who made the bowl. There will also be several bowls available through a silent auction. In addition, those who make a donation will be entered into a raffle to win Panera bagels for a year.

“We want to say a sincere thanks to our long-time supporter Panera Bread for hosting this event for a third year. We are confident it will be a success,” said Gibson.

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About Ozarks Food Harvest — The Food Bank

Ozarks Food Harvest is the Feeding America food bank for southwest Missouri, serving more than 200 organizations across 28 Ozarks counties. The Food Bank provides 14.6 million meals annually to more than 260,000 unduplicated individuals. Learn more at, or