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Empty Bowls McKinney

A Culinary and Artistic Journey Against Hunger

Article by Angi Burns

Photography by Empty Bowls McKinney

Originally published in Allen City Lifestyle

Empty Bowls McKinney, an annual event, transcends the ordinary by combining the artistry of local professional and student artists with the culinary expertise of renowned chefs. This unique gathering, set in downtown McKinney's picturesque square, showcases one-of-a-kind, handcrafted ceramic bowls donated by local artisans. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, these bowls serve a profound purpose—to combat hunger in the community.

Attendees not only enjoy a delightful evening sampling gourmet soups and other culinary delights from local restaurants but also take home a unique, handcrafted bowl. Each bowl serves as a tangible reminder of the ongoing struggle against hunger in our community.

The mission of Empty Bowls McKinney goes beyond providing a memorable event. It aims to raise both funds and awareness for non-profit organizations dedicated to addressing hunger in the local community. In 2023 alone, the event successfully raised and donated an impressive $85,000 to fight hunger.

The urgency of this mission is underscored by the sobering statistics—140,000 Collin County residents are food insecure, and nearly 9,000 McKinney kids face the harsh reality of going to bed hungry tonight. Shockingly, 45% of food stamp recipients are children.

Empty Bowls McKinney contributes to the fight against food insecurity by supporting beneficiaries like Community Life Line and Community Garden Kitchen. Community Life Line, a crisis organization serving all of Collin County, relies on the event to supply its food pantry and aid in the food distribution program. For those facing temporary hardships, Community Life Line provides a safety net of support.

Community Garden Kitchen, another beneficiary, offers the "Dining with Dignity" program—an initiative providing chef-prepared meals in a sit-down style, four nights a week, with no questions asked. The funds raised by Empty Bowls McKinney directly contribute to these vital community support initiatives.

The heart of the event lies in its collaborative spirit. Local artists generously donate unique bowls, while attendees contribute through event sponsors and ticket sales. 

The upcoming event on April 25th promises to be another impactful evening. Attendees can purchase general admission tickets for $35, granting them entry at 6 p.m. to choose a handmade bowl and savor soups from local vendors. For those wanting an enhanced experience, the Collector's Club offers early access at 5:30 p.m., exclusive bowl selections, and a deeper connection to the cause, with tickets priced at $125.

Empty Bowls McKinney is not just an event; it's a movement to create lasting change. By combining art, culinary delights, and community support, it empowers individuals to make a difference in the fight against hunger. As the organizers anticipate around 1,000 attendees, they aim to build upon the success of previous years and continue making a significant impact on hunger in the community.

By combining art, culinary delights, and community support, Empty Bowls empowers individuals to make a difference in the fight against hunger.