February 2022 will mark the 20th Tempe Empty Bowls, an annual community fundraiser that, since its inception, has raised more than $250,000 for Tempe charities that help feed the hungry in Tempe.

The Tempe Empty Bowls committee formed more than 20 years ago when a group of civic-minded Tempe residents came together to create a community fundraiser that would benefit charities that help feed the hungry in our community. Mirroring the blueprint of an event started in Michigan, the group recruited local artisans from the City of Tempe ceramics program and Tempe high schools to create soup-sized “empty” bowls that would be sold to the public as a reminder of both hunger needs and solutions. Later, the Tempe Elementary School District joined in to create art objects, as well. Student involvement offered us the opportunity to educate them about hunger in our community, and how their involvement in Tempe Empty Bowls made a difference.

Tempe Empty Bowls 2022 is planned for February 26, with proceeds again benefitting Tempe Community Action Agency’s food pantry and the Tempe programs of United Food Bank. The planning committee includes several of the same members it started with two decades ago, including members of the ceramics program, a social worker, and a number of community leaders.

The organizers of the event have loved planning and hosting the event each year for the City of Tempe, but due to a variety of factors including retirements and other commitments, 2022 will be the last Tempe Empty Bowls planned and coordinated by this group. We welcome a new group of volunteers to join us this year to learn the ropes and take over the event for 2023.

It has been a delight to work on this event on behalf of Tempe for all these years.


The 2022 Tempe Empty Bowls Committee