Empty Bowl Project

Empty Bowl Dinner 2018

Thanks to all who made Our Empty Bowl Dinner on February 11, 2018 a big success!

Why and Where do the proceeds from the Empty Bowl go?

About the Empty Bowl Project

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.

At Sandy Spring Friends School, a small group of teachers and parents started the Empty Bowl Project in 2005 with the goals to:

  • Create lasting social change
  • Raise awareness of world hunger
  • Collect money to support programs to feed the hungry
  • Build community

In the 12 years since the SSFS community began the Empty Bowl Project, the School has hosted 6 biennual dinners, raising more than $45,000 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.

Let your lives speak!

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. For more information, please see the SSFS Empty Bowl Blog and check the weekly newsletter to find out about upcoming bowl-making and glazing sessions. Our biennual dinner was held in 2018. Stay tuned for details about our next Empty Bowl event.


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!

Photo Gallery From Empty Bowl Dinner 2018