The concept for “Empty Bowls” started in the early 90’s with Bloomfield Hills, Michigan high school students and their art teacher, John Hartom. In an effort to help out with the local food drive they threw, decorated and fired 120 bowls. The school’s staff was invited to the cafeteria to select a bowl and enjoy a simple meal of soup and bread. John and his wife talked to the staff about hunger in their community, thanked them for their cash donations and then asked them to take their bowls home with them as a reminder of those with “empty bowls”. There are now “empty bowls” projects all over the world.
The project is now championed by The Imagine Render Group, a nonprofit whose mission is to develop creative, exciting, and powerful models that are replicable and scalable by others wishing to work for social justice.