Sandy Spring Friends School



Empty Bowl Project

Empty Bowl-Making (and Glazing!) sessions are offered in the Art Barn throughout the year. These handmade bowls will be used at our next Empty Bowl soup dinner.  

Upcoming Bowl-Making Opportunities

Stay tuned for more bowl-making sessions!

In 2005, a small group of teachers and parents brought the Empty Bowl Project to Sandy Spring Friends School. The goal of the project is to:

  • Enable students and the greater community to help others by sharing their creativity
  • Create lasting social change
  • Raise awareness of world hunger
  • Collect money to support programs to feed the hungry
  • Build community

In the years since the SSFS community began the Empty Bowl Project, the School has hosted 8 dinners, raising more than $60,000 to feed the hungry in our area. These efforts have been supported by hundreds of volunteers from our community who have created thousands of beautiful, hand-painted bowls, and local restaurants and volunteer chefs who have provided thousands of servings of soup and bread. 

Photo of one of the bowls for Empty Bowl 2018
Photo of one of the bowls for Empty Bowl 2018

Each bowl created for the Empty Bowl dinner has a special story behind it. See the Empty Bowl blog to read some of the wonderful stories accompanying some truly inspiring bowls made by SSFS students, parents, alumni, and friends!

Empty Bowl Poster 2023

Let Your Lives Speak: Service Through Empty Bowl

Hunger and food insecurity affects all people in the U.S. of all ages and 1 in 4 people face hunger in America. Please join us and support this important community event in some way.  Our most recent biannual dinner was held in March 2023. Check the weekly newsletters to find out about upcoming bowl-making and glazing sessions and plans for the next event.

Empty Bowl History

In 1990, the Empty Bowl Project was conceptualized by John Harton, an art teacher from Michigan, as a way to help his students creatively support a food drive. He had his class make ceramic bowls and invited the community to come have a simple dinner, with food donated by local restaurants. From there, the idea was born. Those first diners did not even know that they were going to take home the bowl that they had just used for soup, as a reminder of all the empty bowls that still need filling, every night, around the world.

This concept began a movement and now there are Empty Bowl events held around the world. While each is unique, they share a common purpose and that is to raise awareness about the acute problem of hunger worldwide.