After Four-year Hiatus, Empty Bowls To Return In March

By Elizabeth White, posted Jan 17, 2024
After a four-year hiatus, Empty Bowls will return to Wilmington in March. (Photo courtesy of Empty Bowls Wilmington)
Wilmington area nonprofits the Good Shepherd Center and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard are looking to tackle local food insecurity with their long-awaited Empty Bowls event in March. 

Food insecurity is a significant issue in the Wilmington area with more than 36,000 adults and children – or roughly one in six people – experiencing it in New Hanover County. The nonprofits work year-round to provide hot meals and fresh groceries to individuals and families facing food insecurity. 

Along with a bowl of soup, each event ticket holder will get to choose a unique, handcrafted bowl to take home as a keepsake. Local ceramicists, clay artists and woodturners from various organizations and businesses, including the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild, Fat Cat Pottery and Cape Fear Community College, will donate their time and talent to the cause. 

In the past, culinary students from Cape Fear Community College have volunteered their time along with pastry students who have made cookies and bread for the event. 

Celebrity servers will be on hand at this year’s event, dishing out soup. University of North Carolina Wilmington Chancellor Aswani Volety and Natalie English, president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, plan to participate, schedule permitting. Anne Steketee, owner of Port Land Grille, is overseeing the event’s contributing donor restaurants. 

Empty Bowls, an event held every other year, is a grassroots movement by artists and craftspeople in communities around the world to raise money for food-related charities. Katrina Knight, executive director of the Good Shepherd Center, said she’s grateful the event is back after a four-year-long hiatus. 

The event was scheduled for 2022, but organizers decided to hold off due to COVID-19. 

“It is beyond gratifying to see as many as 1,000 members of our community come together in a show of caring and support for their hungry neighbors, and March 22nd promises to be our most impactful Empty Bowls event yet,” Knight said. “They’ll leave knowing they’ve helped to make literally thousands of meals possible for food-insecure seniors, families, and others. It really is about sharing a meal in fellowship with your neighbors.”

Empty Bowls is scheduled for March 22 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event will take place at the First Baptist Church Activities Center at 1939 Independence Blvd. Tickets are $35 and organizers are currently recruiting volunteers. 

Tickets and t-shirts will be on sale through March 21, or until they sell out. All ticket and t-shirt sales will be online.

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