By JESSE BERTEL
Across the Street
For 25 years, Prescott Empty Bowls has supported local food banks with a grassroots movement of artists who create handcrafted bowls for people to fill with soups from local restaurants. Empty Bowls returns to the Courthouse Square for its Silver Anniversary from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.
This was the first year Empty Bowls went to local businesses asking for financial donations. With the help of their Silver Bowl sponsor, Oddfellows Lodge #1 and Silver Ladle sponsors, Prescott Import Car Services, El Gato and Torme, they have already raised over $6,350.
Prescott Empty Bowls is organized by the Prescott Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) and Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation (GPUUC). In 2020, Empty Bowls raised and distributed a record $21,000 to local food banks. Organizers are working to raise $25,000 this year.
Typically, Empty Bowls is held on the Prescott Courthouse Square where people choose one handcrafted bowl and two soups crafted by local chefs. However, due to the pandemic and social distancing concerns the event was held in the GPUUC parking lot in 2020 and all donations and sales for the event in 2021 were done online. $17,000 was raised in 2021. Online sales have been so successful over the last two years that people will have the option of buying their tickets on the Empty Bowls website or at the Courthouse Square.
Tom Lynott, a promotional volunteer for Empty Bowls, said that organizers and chefs are preparing for a big turnout after two years away from holding the event at the courthouse.
“Everybody is really excited,” Lynott said. “We have a couple of new chefs that have never done this and they’re going to be bringing out their offering. So, of course, the whole group is really excited about this and we’ll make it work.”
Every five years Prescott Empty Bowls creates a commemorative T-shirt. This year they involved Prescott High School (PHS) Fine Arts Department by sponsoring a contest. The work was judged on May 19 by three local artists. PHS student Jay Robertson won first place for his design out of 72 entries. Certificates will be presented to the winners by PUSD School Board President Deb Dillion and Superintendent Joe Howard on the Courthouse Plaza Square during the event.
Due to the successful impact Empty Bowls has made in the fight against food insecurity, the Prescott City Council will officially declare Sept. 18, Prescott Empty Bowls Day with a reading of the proclamation by Councilman Montoya at the event.
The cost is $20 for one handmade bowl and a choice of two servings of gourmet soup from local restaurants. For more information or to buy tickets online, visit prescott-empty-bowls.square.site.
Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.