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Tuscaloosa's Empty Bowls event set for Friday to raise hunger awareness

Grace Presbyterian Church

The 15th Annual Empty Bowls, an event that raises hunger awareness in our community, will be held in the Grace Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 113 Hargrove Road, on Friday, March 24, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This fundraiser benefits the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry of Grace Presbyterian.

Grace Presbyterian Church

A press release from the church says for a suggested donation of $15 (cash and check only), attendees will enjoy live entertainment, will get to pick out a hand-crafted bowl created by local artisans and UA ceramics students and will receive a meal of soup, bread, and water. For an additional $5, attendees may take one bowl of soup “to go.” The “meager meal” is intended to remind participants that food security eludes many of our West Alabama neighbors; the empty bowl represents that many go to bed hungry.

 Grace Presbyterian Church
Grace Presbyterian Church

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event support Grace Presbyterian Church’s Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. The Food Pantry distributes food that is purchased from the West Alabama Food Bank and every $15 raised via Empty Bowls translates to sixty-five pounds of purchased food.

The Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry served approximately 8, 500 people in 2022 alone- that is over 85,000 pounds of food.
Jennifer Shepard, Food Pantry Director, notes “this event has a real and meaningful impact on the community. Empty Bowls’ proceeds cover the cost of an entire month's distribution, providing food for up to 300 households in our local community.”

In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fundraising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world.

Today, Empty Bowls events are held all over the United States. Thanks to the generous donation of more than 100 hand-crafted bowls from The University of Alabama’s Art & Art History Department and Kentuck Red Dog Potters, as well as food donations from local restaurants and business, Grace Presbyterian will again sponsor Tuscaloosa's 2023 Empty Bowls event.

To support this event, purchase tickets at the door, cash or check only, or go to to make a donation. For more information about Tuscaloosa's Empty Bowls event, call (205) 758-1193.

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