Overview of Empty Bowls

Ann Zhang, Features Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Why do the hallways smell like delicious soup? Does everything taste better in a handmade vessel? Most importantly… what is Empty Bowls?

Jill Donovan, English teacher and faculty sponsor of the annual JBS tradition, answers your burning questions:

“Empty Bowls, an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger, was brought to Burroughs by a student in 2008,” she told The World. “Each year since then, approximately 150 students, parents, faculty/staff, and friends have gathered in the JBS Dining Hall before the Friday evening performance of the musical to select a handmade ceramic bowl and sample an array of tasty food, largely prepared by JBS faculty and parents.”

“All of the proceeds are donated to a local charity: this year a check will be sent to Urban Harvest STL, an organization that ‘grows healthy produce across a network of six urban farms in downtown and North St. Louis and donate[s] the majority of the harvest to nonprofit partners serving communities with limited or non-existent access to healthy, nutritious food,’ [according to the UH website].”

Proceeds from Empty Bowls have also supported Circle of Concern, a food pantry in West County, and Covenant House, a shelter for homeless kids, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Donovan added, “Each year that I have helped coordinate this event I’ve been amazed by the visible and invisible hands of grace that have appeared (sometimes at the very last minute) to help make this evening such a success.”