Follow Us

RACINE – The Empty Bowls Racine community fundraiser continues its efforts to help fight hunger in the Racine County community on March 6 at Festival Hall, 5 Fifth St.

Since 1997, the annual event has brought in $375,000 in donations. This year’s event will benefit HALO Inc. and the Racine County Food Bank as a way to help combat food insecurities in the area.

People are encouraged to attend the fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then from 4 to 7 p.m. Carry-out is also available during these timeframes.

empty bowls
Bowls that will be available at Empty Bowls on March 6 at Festival Hall are created and donated by numerous volunteers in the Racine community. – Credit: Heidi Fannin

For $15, event-goers will gain entry to Empty Bowls and have the chance to enjoy soups, bread and bakery items made and donated by local businesses and restaurants. For $5, children may receive a disposable bowl. Carry-out is $10.

Only cash or checks only accepted at the event.

“You get to pick a bowl and you get to keep that bowl and it’s to remind you that there’s someone that has an empty bowl,” explains Heidi Fannin, Empty Bowls Racine coordinator.

Bowls have been made by local schools, community members, churches and other artists in the area.

“There’s going to be 12 different soups to choose from and you can try every one. Once one is gone, we get a new one in,” says Fannin.

Attendees are welcome to go back for seconds. Organizers even encourage third and fourth servings too.

“Just think about all the people donating, all the companies that donate, and the people that donate. You can feel it…you can feel the energy of a community coming together to make a beautiful event happen,” says Fannin.

empty bowls
Volunteers come from all over the county, including Bryan Albrecht, former president of Gateway Technical College, and Mayor Cory Mason. – Credit: Heidi Fannin

Fannin says her hope is to reach around the $40,000 mark in donations at this year’s event.


empty bowls
A member of the military devotes service to his country and to his community. – Credit: Heidi Fannin

Can’t attend or want to give more?

Donations can be made online or via check.

Check donations can be sent to:
Johnson Bank
c/o Dawn Merritt
4959 Douglas Ave.
Racine, WI 53402

Additional donations can be made at the event as well. There will be raffles and auctions to participate in. If you can’t attend, or have to leave before the auction is over, continue the fun by monitoring your bids online.


The following businesses and organizations have donated to Empty Bowls Racine:

Bread for the event was donated by:

  • Bendtsen’s Bakery
  • Blue Bear
  • Larsen’s Bakery
  • Lehmann’s Bakery
  • Lopez Bakery
  • Main Street Bakery
  • O&H Bakery
  • Olive Garden
  • Paielli’s Bakery
  • Pick ‘N Save bakery
  • Red Lobster
  • Texas Roadhouse
2023 Empty Bowls Racine soup sponsors

Going green

empty bowls
Empty Bowls attendees select a reusable bowl upon entry to the event. The bowls are created and donated by various community members each year. – Credit: Heidi Fannin

“We work really hard at purchasing everything local, trying to be green, and keeping our costs low so we can give more,” states Fannin.

The event is eco-friendly through the use of ceramic bowls at the event. People are encouraged to reuse their bowls when trialing different soups at the event.

All of the soup is put to good use as well, even if it’s not consumed at the 2023 Empty Bowls event.

“We’ve never run (out of) soup, but whatever we don’t use we donate to the food bank and we just donate back right back to the shelter,” says Fannin.


Want to help at this event?

Sign up online to become a volunteer.

A variety of positions are available including helping with dishes, tending to the auction, helping in the kitchen and much more.

empty bowls
Local firefighters volunteer yearly at the Empty Bowls event in Racine. Plenty of volunteer opportunities are available. – Credit: Heidi Fannin
empty bowls
Each bowl is hand-made for the event. – Credit: Heidi Fannin


Entertainment for the event is provided by:

  • 11 – 12:30 p.m. Amy Dienberg
  • 12:30 – 2 p.m. Titus Rench and Wheary
  • 4 – 5:30 p.m. Clum and the All Stars
  • 5:30 – 7 p.m. Jeff Ward and Band

Learn more

Find out more about this event by visiting their website.

Updates are given frequently on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

empty bowls
Community members get creative with their bowl designs. Event entry is $15 and in return guests get a bowl to keep. – Credit: Heidi Fannin

More events

Check out these local events happening in the community:

Local news

The Racine County Eye, which includes the Kenosha Lens, is your source for local news that serves our diverse communities. Subscribe today to stay up-to-date with local news.

Follow us on Facebook: Racine County Eye or Kenosha Lens, and Twitter to make sure you get the latest news.

Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens – Journalism that serves.