Food scarcity is an issue near and dear to many people in the Milwaukee community with one out of every four kids going to bed hungry, according to the Hunger Task Force. One of the local traditions to combat this issue is the Milwaukee Empty Bowls fundraiser.
Milwaukee Empty Bowls is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness of the limited food resources in the Metro Milwaukee area. Since 1999, a total of $889,105 has been distributed by Milwaukee Empty Bowls to help provide food to those in need across the greater Milwaukee area. While that number is quite large, they hope to push their limits even further by setting a goal to raise $50,000 this year.
One of the primary ways Milwaukee Empty Bowls accomplishes their mission is by selling handmade bowls at their main event that normally takes place in October. However, with COVID-19, things had to be adjusted.
In a typical year, the bowls would have been sold at the event with a serving of soup and side of bread provided by local restaurants, but that style of an event is not the safest option this year. Instead, Milwaukee Empty Bowls decided to take a more creative approach that is available throughout Milwaukee.
The first step is to purchase your bowl. All you need to do is go to Outpost Natural Foods, Cream City Clay, The Potter’s Shop or Good Harvest Market to purchase the $20 bowl starting Oct. 1 and through Oct. 14. At each location, all of the proceeds will go to benefit the fundraiser. The addresses of these locations can be found on their website.
After buying the bowl, you can order soup from a “Soup Stop,” which are local restaurants that have partnered with the nonprofit. These restaurants include many Milwaukee favorites including Cafe Hollander, Saz’s State House, Soup Market and many more. A full list of participating restaurants and their address can be found on Milwaukee Empty Bowl’s website. The “Soup Stop” partner step is open through Oct. 11. There are about 25 soup stop locations and with every purchase through the program, a minimum of one dollar will be donated to the cause.
Want to know of more ways to help the Milwaukee Empty Bowls mission? There is a virtual Facebook event happening on Oct. 11. Donations are also accepted via PayPal or Facebook.
According to Hunger Task Force, nearly 42% of children in Milwaukee received FoodShare program vouchers and 82% of Milwaukee Public Schools students were determined to be economically disadvantaged, making it evident that food resources are needed right here in Milwaukee. 2020 Milwaukee Empty Bowl funding recipients include the Fondy Food Center, Just One More Ministry, Milwaukee Rescue Mission and Friedens Community Ministries, Inc.