March 13, 2023
On Campus

Conquering Hunger One Bowl At A Time

Wittenberg University Set to Host 29th Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser

Wittenberg is proud to announce a return to the previous format with an in-person meal for the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, March 23, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Center Dining Room (CDR) of the Benham-Pence Student Center.

A national fundraising campaign aimed at combating food insecurity in local communities, Wittenberg has been running its version of Empty Bowls for 29 years with great success, raising more than $550,000 (which equates to 2,372,592 meals) for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Wittenberg’s Department of Art in conjunction with Second Harvest Food Bank hosts the Empty Bowls fundraiser with all proceeds supporting the mission of Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield. Empty Bowls exemplifies Wittenberg’s service-based mission, which encourages all students to discern their vocations and to understand the meaningful connection between self-fulfillment and service to the world.

In 2019, Wittenberg's Empty Bowls event set a record by raising $50,187 for Second Harvest to help address food insecurity in Springfield and Clark County.  

“All of the money goes to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Our goal for the 2023 event is to raise over $50,000 again,” said Professor of Art Scott Dooley, who has helped to coordinate the annual event since its inception. “There are Empty Bowls events hosted all over the country. We are looking forward to hosting the event in-person this year – what a way to celebrate 29 years of Empty Bowls at Wittenberg.”

Wittenberg ceramic students, staff, faculty and community members throw, glaze, and fire approximately 1,000 bowls with 90 percent of these being made on Empty Bowls Throwing Days, held on Saturday/Sunday afternoons. 

The Second Harvest Food Bank lines up sponsors, including Parkhurst Dining and other community members, to donate the soup and bread. Patrons then choose a bowl to purchase at $20 each and enjoy a soup dinner and conversation with fellow community members. Participants then take the bowl home with them as a reminder that there are many people in our community that are hungry.

“This is truly a community event that brings many people from Springfield to campus and is a major fundraising event for the Second Harvest Food Bank,” Dooley added. “Come join us and help fight food insecurity. I am proud to say that we have been able to grow this project through the tough economic climate of the last decade.”

Sarah Baker, class of 2019 from Springfield, Ohio, designed this year’s event T-shirts, which will be available for purchase.

Every dollar raised provides five meals to hungry families in the community. The purchase of one bowl will provide 100 meals. Wittenberg has sold out of bowls in the past, so guests who wish to see the full selection and be assured of getting a bowl should plan to come early. 

As the only food bank in Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank distributes more than six million pounds of food annually, with more than four million pounds going directly to Clark County. Second Harvest Food Bank’s daily operation consists of sourcing and gathering food, sorting and cataloging the food, then warehousing the inventory to be distributed to agency members throughout a three-county service area. 

Second Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and is responsible for safe handling of all food products adhering to state and federal guidelines, including providing member oversight to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

For information or to become a sponsor of this year’s Empty Bowls event, please contact either Dooley at or Tyra Jackson, executive director, Second Harvest Food Bank, at (937) 325-8715 ext. 112 or Sponsorships begin at the $100 level and, depending on the level of sponsorship, include several bowls and mention in event signage.

About Second Harvest
Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties, a member of Feeding America, serves the tri-county community by sourcing, collecting, storing and distributing over six million pounds of food to 65 non-profit member agencies who feed the hungry directly.  Second Harvest is focused on bringing healthy, nutritious food to those in our communities struggling with hunger through innovative programs such as senior food initiatives and mobile pantry distributions.

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About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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