Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls Decorah

Empty Bowls 2018 is already in the planning stages and will be held Sunday, May 6th, 2017, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm again at the Steyer Opera House of the Hotel Winneshiek. If you are interested in helping out, contact Erin in the office!


Hotel Winneshiek, Steyer Opera House


For a $20 donation, attendees get to enjoy a simple meal and select and take home one of the many beautiful, handcrafted bowls made by area potters.

Proceeds from Empty Bowls will go to local food pantries and other programs that alleviate hunger in the community. 2016’s event brought in $9.850.


2016 Distribution:

Over 450 individuals attended Empty Bowls and raised $9,564.60 for local food justice programs.

Distribution of these funds was determined by the Northeast Iowa Peace & Justice Center Board of Directors.

  • $2,500 – First Lutheran and Decorah Lutheran food pantries
  • $2,000 – Farmers Market Voucher Program
  • $1,000 – Decorah Community Meal as well as the
  • $1,000 – Kid’s Lunch Program
  • $500 – Backpack Program (through Decorah Congregational UCC).  
  • The remainder of $64.60 will be held over to defray costs of advertising next year.

dual2015 Distribution: 

  • $2,500 – 1st Lutheran Food Pantry
  • $2,500 – Decorah Lutheran Food Pantry
  • $1,000 – Farmer’s Market Voucher Program
  • $1,000 – Backpack Program (Decorah UCC run)
  • $1,000 – Decorah Community Meal
  • $500 – Decorah Urban Gardens
  • remainder kept back to fund next year’s event





Area restaurants and bakers that support Decorah Empty Bowls:

  • Good Times Grillline
  • Magpie Coffeehouse 
  • Rubaiyat
  •  Ede’s and the Angry Pickle Deli
  •  Java John’s
  •  T-Bock’s Sports Bar & Grill
  • Oneota Community Co-op 
  • Stone Hearth Inn
  • Restauration
  • La Rana Bistro
  • Otter Creek Orchard Bakery
  • Waving Grains Bakery
  • Quillin’s Bakery
  • Walmart Bakery




Empty Bowls has been well received in Decorah, but is not unique to the community. The Empty Bowls website states ““Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.”

Empty Bowls is sponsored and organized by the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center, with special acknowledgement of Hotel Winneshiek, The Oneota Community Coop, Art Haus & The Clay Studio for all their help with planning and hosting.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Erin at the Northeast Iowa Peace and Justice Center: 563-382-3887, or email neipjc@gmail.com.