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The Empty Bowls Movement: A New Take on Fighting World Hunger

The Empty Bowls Movement: A New Take on Fighting World Hunger


With the holidays focused on food and feasting, it is important to remember all of those who are not so fortunate to be able to sit down to a home-cooked meal with friends, family and ample amounts of food. We are all familiar with the various ways to contribute to the less fortunate in our communities, such as supplementing canned goods, making financial donations or even perhaps volunteering at a local shelter in efforts to relieve some of the burden many individuals face during this holiday season. With millions of people who have lost their jobs due to the economic insecurities, 1 out of 8 Americans experience some kind of food insecurity every day.

The Empty Bowls Project presents a new and innovative way to raise awareness about this growing issue as well assist in solving it. The concept is simple: people such as potters, crafters or just community members create unique hand-made bowls.

Then someone holds an event inviting guests to come attend a basic meal of home-made soup and bread. At this event, attendees are asked to make a cash donation in exchange for the bowl they will be served out of. Seeing the empty bowl being filled with a hearty meal becomes an empowering symbol recognizing the million of individuals that have “empty bowls.”

This is a unique effort because aside from providing a motivation at the actual event where the theme is fighting world hunger, it allows the guests to take the bowls home, constantly reminding them of the less fortunate in our world and hopefully inspiring them to make a change.

The Empty Bowls Project accomplishes several objectives on both local and international levels. It raises funds in the purpose of decreasing the world’s hungry people. It educates and raises awareness about the severity of this issue and changes the attitude toward world hunger in individual communities. It also shares and spreads the importance of art.

There are hundreds of innovative and unique ways to become part of the movement to fight world hunger. What better time to act on this than the holidays?

The World Food Programme challenges you to take a quiz to test your knowledge on the severity of this issue on a global scale. For each time the quiz is taken, 25 cents will be donated to the World Programme school meals program. For more information regarding the quiz and the World Food Programme, click here.


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Photo credit: Jeff Kubina

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7:26AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

thank you

12:17PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

Thank you - what ever works!

6:41AM PST on Jan 2, 2012


12:33PM PST on Jan 1, 2012

Hope this works.

1:24AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

thanks for sharing

1:23AM PST on Jan 1, 2012

thanks for sharing

4:23PM PST on Dec 31, 2011

Fantastic idea ...I'll start tonight! Thanks much!

4:46AM PST on Dec 31, 2011

This is a great idea. I hope honesty is always present at these events. The quiz was fairly easy. The fact that $50 can feed a child for an entire year is super humbling, considering that a show called "$40 a Day" (in which Rachel Ray dined for – what else – $40 a day) actually existed.

12:29AM PST on Dec 31, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:20PM PST on Dec 30, 2011

Some people may be greedy and steal the money, but if the group gets itself organized into a non-profit (of the small, charitable type), there would be safeguards built in to account for the money. This seems like a fine idea for fundraising and educating people. My only problem is that I'm very clumsy at things like making pottery!

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