Empty Bowls fights hunger in Cook County
Chuck Olsen
Community Voices

Empty Bowls fights hunger in Cook County

The 17th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser took place at Up Yonder on November 16, 2023. WTIP spoke with co-organizer Beth Kennedy about this year’s event. Empty Bowls, Cook County is a non-profit with a mission to raise critical funds for hunger needs in Cook County, MN. The annual November soup dinner fundraiser is a partnership with the Grand Marais Art Colony and local restaurants to distribute funds to 27 Cook County non-profits to fight hunger.

This year’s event raised over $10,000 and donations continue to be collected through Dec. 31. “We hope to reach $100,000 this year to help with cost of food prices,” says Kennedy.

Empty Bowls raised $85,000 at their 2022 fundraiser which was distributed to 27 area non-profits. The non-profits distribute monetary food cards to individuals in need. Participating non-profits include the YMCA, Violence Prevention Center, Small Requests, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, the Hub, Care Partners, Elderly Nutrition Program, and area schools.

Soup sponsors: Coho Cafe, Lutsen Resort, Cascade Restaurant, Gunflint Lodge, Grand Portage Lodge, Grand Portage Elder Nutrition Program, Bad Seed Food Truck, Voyageur Brewing, Birch Terrace, My Sister’s Place, Cook County Whole Foods Co-op, Gunflint Tavern, Double D’s Catering, Crooked Spoon, Fisherman’s Daughter, Hungry Hippie Tacos, The Hub, Upper Lakes Foods, North House Folk School.

Bread sponsors: Johnson’s Foods, Gene‘s IGA, Chio’s Gluten Free Treats, Java Moose, North House Folk School, and Upper Lakes Foods.

Bakery Treats sponsors: Superior Cookie Company, Crosby Bakery, Beth’s Fudge, Milan Schmidt, Carol Morgen, Terri Poe, Rebecca Barret (Wilder Wood Shop) Tracy Benson, Jodi Overman, Grace Bushard, Mark Morgen, Julie Bittinger, WEGC, Kris Hedstrom, Polly Erickson, Mary Maurice, Katie Krantz, Laura Durenberger, Judy Briskey, Mary Igoe, Judi Barsness.

Roasters, Coffee Pots & More: North House Folk School, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. John’s Catholic Church, ODDZ and ENDZ

Volunteers: Over 45 people volunteered, including the Cook County High School National Honor Society

Video and audio from the 2023 event is below.