Students, Service & Soup!

February 19, 2015

In 1997, an art teacher in northern Colorado inspired his students to create empty pottery Empty Bowlsbowls to represent those who didn’t have enough to eat. That first year, forty people assembled at the school for a simple soup meal, to raise money and to learn more about hunger issues in the community.

What began as a unassuming class fundraising activity using student-made pottery, the Empty Bowls event has since grown into a much anticipated community affair and a significant fundraiser for the Food Bank for Larimer County. Over $600,000 has been raised for the Food Bank since the event’s inception and hundreds of community members now gather annually to enjoy soup donated from over 20 restaurants, bid on beautiful art pieces, and elevate awareness of the organization’s hunger-relief programs.Empty Bowls Overhead


Even with all of the growth and popularity of the event, the original spirit of youth involvement and service is as strong as ever. Student volunteers serve as the event’s wait staff and numerous high school and middle school art classes now participate in creating the hundreds of pottery bowls that each Empty Bowls attendee receives….providing unique keepsakes that can be displayed in homes and businesses year-round as a reminder that hunger is a constant battle, and that kids are involved in making a difference.

The OtterCares Foundation is proud to support youth volunteerism and philanthropy through a Commuter Fund sponsorship of the Empty Bowls event.