‘Empty Bowls’ is a fund-raising event that encourages artists to create and donate bowls and serve a simple meal. Proceeds are donated to non-profit agencies, most often food banks. Ceramic artists and potters usually take the lead in bowl production, but in some communities wood turners, glassblowers, fiber artists, metal smiths, and others join in.

Each guest at the 'Empty Bowls' event chooses a bowl to use at the event and as a keepsake reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. In exchange for the bowl and the meal, a suggested minimum donation is contributed for local hunger-fighting organizations.