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Hamilton Empty Bowls is seeking volunteers for an upcoming event.


What is Empty Bowls?


Empty Bowls is an event that began as a grassroots effort to feed the hungry in Michigan 25 years ago. Founded by Lisa Blackburn and Art teacher John Hartom in 1990 when they joined a drive to raise charitable funds in his Michigan community. Hartom’s idea was to organize a charitable event to give artists and art students a way to make a personal difference.

Hartom’s students made ceramic bowls in their high school art classes. The finished products were then used as individual serving pieces for a fundraising meal of soup and bread with contributing guests keeping the handcrafted bowl as a souvenir. During the next year, Hartom and other participants further developed this concept into “Empty Bowls”.


A quarter century later, Empty Bowls has grown to an innumerable number of events all over the country.  Today, a new generation draws inspiration from the original creators of this powerful event. Every year, hundreds of communities combine art and passion to fight hunger in their cities, on their campuses, in their schools, and across their neighborhoods.


Empty Bowls Butler County is an initiative of Butler County United Way. All funding and expenditures for events held throughout Butler County will flow through Butler County United Way as a 501(c)3 organization to ensure accountability and appropriate distribution of funds to Butler County food outlets.


Who Benefits? 

This event will benefit The Open Door Food Pantry in Hamilton, Ohio. The Open Door Food Pantry has been serving families in crisis in the Butler County area since 1981. In addition to providing food, Open Door Food Pantry also provides baby formula, diapers, and other personal items as they are available.  An average of 1,800 people per month receive resources from the Open Door Food Pantry.

Click the Empty Bowls logo above to volunteer or click here.



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