Empty Bowls McKinney is an annual fund-raising event that brings together artists and the community to “fight hunger one bowl at a time.” The premise is simple: professional artists, student artists and amateurs create handcrafted bowls, and guests come to share a meal of soup and bread. In return for a donation, guests take home an empty handcrafted bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the local community and of children and adults who go to sleep hungry. Empty Bowls McKinney is modeled on the grass-roots Empty Bowls effort that was created in 1990 to make a difference for hungry people in the local community. Each Empty Bowls event is unique to the town or city it serves, and reflects the commitment of artists and others to feed the hungry people who live there.
Empty Bowls McKinney began in 2012 in the parish hall at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The first event featured the work of two local artists, hosted 100 people, and raised $4,500. At the fifth event in 2016, Empty Bowls McKinney included the work of more than 40 local artists, along with student artists from high schools and colleges, and amateur artists. Fourteen McKinney-area restaurants and chefs served soup, bread, and dessert to over 800 people, and the event raised $46,000—more than 10 times the amount of the first event—to fight hunger in Collin County.