“As we fill our bowls, let us remember those that are empty.”

Girls holding bowls.The ninth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser on April 8 was hosted by The Giving Circle of HOPE. The purpose of Empty Bowls to help fight hunger and food insecurity in our community.

Family eating.For a small donation, guests receive a simple supper of soup, bread, cake and a beverage and a handmade ceramic bowl as a reminder that there are those in the community who have empty bowls.

Hold pottery.Empty Bowls is a grassroots program designed to help end hunger in the U.S. and worldwide. It was developed by John Hartom, a Michigan art teacher who came up with the project idea in 1990-1991 when he joined a community drive to raise charitable funds.


The funds raised through The Giving Circle of HOPE’s Empty Bowls fundraiser benefit Food for Others, one of our nonprofit partners and the largest distributor in Northern Virginia of free food directly to those facing hunger and food emergencies.

For the April 8 fundraiser, almost $39,000 was raised in combined direct and in-kind contributions. Over 500 people attended and almost 700 pottery pieces were donated.

This event would not be possible without the generosity of a large cast of donors and sponsors, volunteers, the event Co-Chairs and team.  Thank you!

Woman stirring soup.

Volunteers stirred soup.

Men pouring soup.

Volunteers poured soup.

Serving cake.

Donors and sponsors cut cake.

Empty Bowls Co-chairs.

Empty Bowls 2016 Co-Chairs confer.

Hunger and poverty in Fairfax County

  • 1 of 6 people in Fairfax County is food insecure. During any given month, they will be out of money and food, and will be forced to miss meals or seek assistance.
  • 64,600 (almost 6%) Fairfax County residents live below the federal poverty threshold.
  • More than 52,000 people living within 45 minutes of your house live in poverty.
  • 1 in 20 senior citizens in Fairfax County live in poverty, which leads them to choose between food, medicine, and utilities.

Empty Bowls for 2016 is over, but food insecurity is year-round. What you can do now?


Read about the causes and solutions for food insecurity at Feeding America and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks.


Support and advocate for programs and legislation that help families afford food. These include a higher minimum wage, affordable quality health care, deferral nutrition programs, and family friendly tax laws.


Donate food, time and money to support local food programs.

Serving bread.


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