Powderhorn’s “Empty Bowls” brings together the community

More stories from Nara Coldwater


Powderhorn Park hosted their ninth annual Empty Bowls event yesterday evening, November 6th. Empty Bowls gives out free meals and brings together many parts of the community. This year, it was once again a huge success.

Empty Bowls was started 25 years ago when a few potters came together to help feed the hungry in their community. Now, Empty Bowls are hosted by many people across the U.S. as way to feed people, bring people together, and fundraise for small organizations.

This was Powderhorn’s 9th year in this tradition, and it was the biggest so far. According to volunteer Carrie Feldman, they had already raised approximately $19,000 dollars, not including money received from credit cards. Empty Bowls gets money through donations and from people who come to the event.

After Empty Bowls receives and counts up the money they’ve fundraised, a board of volunteers gets together to plan where that money should go. The money raised this year is going to many parts of the community, including Youth Farm, Sister’s Camelot, Walker Community United Methodist Church, the Department of Indian Works food shelf and garden, and more. Some of the proceeds also go to a pottery class.

Empty Bowls was held in the gym of the Powderhorn Park building. Near the park there was street after street filled with parked cars. Outside the entrance there was the Sister’s Camelot kitchen bus, which had free tea and sweets. A man who was working on the bus named Dave explained that they were there to help out, because they wanted to support the art community. He explained that everyone there was there to support each other.

You could also see a small brick oven in front of the building with a few people busily working around it. A group of volunteers were making fresh bread to go along with the soup inside. Some of the people making the bread were completely new to the whole ordeal, but they got the hang of it quickly. A man named Chris, who owns a small bakery called Laune Bread, was there to help teach and supervise. The delicious bread was definitely a hit, and had people going back for seconds.

Once you went inside you were able to pick a clay bowl that you liked best (at least until they ran out of their approximately 2,000 bowls they started with), and then you would pay for it with whatever donations you could. Then, you’d fill your bowl up with your choice of multiple different types of soups, including pumpkin spice, black bean, tomato basil and many others. They also had rice, bread and butter.

The park’s gym was filled with people. It was the gathering of a community. Many people brought kids; there were volunteers, families and friends. Many different musicians played throughout the event. Everyone got their share of food, and the night was a success.
Empty Bowls is a super special event that brings small community organizations together, as well as people in the community. With children playing, music in the background, the small of delicious soup, and the feeling of togetherness, you wouldn’t want to miss it. Board member Sarah Bagwell explains Powderhorn Empty Bowls as “community building, neighborhood strengthening and providing sustenance for times in need.”