Hungry stomachs, big hearts fill Kingfield Empty Bowls

The Kingfield Empty Bowls event has been held at Martin Luther King Park in south Minneapolis for 5 years. Last year, 500 people came out. This year, they were prepared to break another record.

Empty Bowls starts with picking out a beautiful bowl. Each bowl is donated by a local artist or, in some cases, made by the Washburn High School pottery class and other volunteers. Then the bowls are filled with soups donated by more than a dozen Kingfield neighborhood restaurants.

All of the donations go toward Nicollet Square, which houses more than three dozen people under the age of 21 who are homeless or have had the foster care system run out on them.

Five years ago, when Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative opened Nicollet Square, there was some resistance to the changes in the neighborhood it might bring. Since then, critics have been silenced, with 700 people expected to fill empty bowls at this year’s fundraiser.

When the soup is gone and the neighbors go home, the bowls themselves are meant to serve as ongoing reminders of the 1,100 youth who are homeless on any given night across the state, and how those around them can make all the difference.