Empty Bowls: Food for All

by Ren Manning

This year the beloved Empty Bowls event, which raises thousands of dollars for the local food banks every year, is adapting to a hybrid virtual form, with online engagement and drive-through bowl pickup.

To participate or for more information, visit where you can buy a bowl, bid on items, attend an educational event, participate in the “Potter's Wheel Opportunity Spin,” and more. Updates are on the Empty Bowls of Prescott Arizona Facebook page as well.

In Yavapai County, one in three people is food-insecure or at risk of becoming food-insecure. One in three children is food-insecure in the county. The US Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”

The organizers of Empty Bowls believe in a future where every human being has the food resources they need. The organization's website emphasizes, “Food banks are critical emergency resources that fill immediate need, which is why Empty Bowls focuses support there. To truly solve the problem of hunger, we need to make larger, transformative changes in the food system and beyond.”

This year, the committee has embraced the idea of Stone Soup: that when everyone shares, there is plenty of food to go around.

“Every year hundreds of Prescott folks come out to stand in line, chatting while they wait, to pick out a lovely handmade bowl to take home, knowing that the funds generated by this event help our local food banks and soup kitchens. This year we won’t have the fun of waiting and chatting and studying all the bowls, due to the need to keep all of us safe. I hope that everyone who can will still participate online, and keep our food banks stocked and soup kitchens cooking. With so many lost jobs, evictions and suffering, we need Empty Bowls more than ever. Please participate!” says Abby Brill, a local potter and regular participant in Empty Bowls.

Ceramic, glass and wooden bowls are available for $15 each, for purchase only on the website. Pickup days are Sunday September 13, 10-4pm, and Saturday September 19, 1-5pm, at 882 Sunset Ave, Prescott, AZ 86305. With your bowl you will receive a printed soup recipe from Chef Peter Padilla.

A panel on food justice will be held on September 8 at 6 pm via Zoom, with registration info on the Empty Bowls Facebook page or website. Featuring local and national speakers, this is an opportunity to learn about food insecurity, food sovereignty, and local, sustainable food systems.

Empty Bowls is sponsored by the Prescott Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and supported by many local artists, chefs, businesses, organizations, and individuals. The recipients this year will be Chino Valley Food Bank, Paulden Food Bank, Prescott Community Cupboard, St Vincent de Paul Food Bank, Yavapai Food Bank, and the Green Bags Project.

Local organizer, educator and artist Ren Manning is the Social Justice Coordinator at Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation.


"Preventing Food Insecurity in Yavapai County - 2019-2020" by Cornucopia Community Advocates,

Empty Bowls website,

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