Like so many events this year, the Austin Empty Bowl Project is going virtual.
The annual fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels usually draws thousands of people — always the Sunday before Thanksgiving — to sample soups from some of Austin’s top chefs. They also get to choose a handmade bowl, some of which become collector’s items.
This year’s Austin Empty Bowl Project is taking place entirely online, but the organization has added a few elements to bring people together while raising money for Meals on Wheels Central Texas’ Meals for Kids and the Central Texas Food Bank’s Kids Café program.
People can buy tickets for an online raffle for this year’s quilt from Nancy Elder, as well as bid on items in the silent auction. You can also buy T-shirts and reusable bags with a design from Sam Hurt. For each donation of $25, a bowl created for the event will be provided to a local family in need.
There’s also a virtual concert at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 featuring Betty Soo, Jeff Plankenhorn, Lloyd Maines and Terri Hendrix, Carolyn Wonderland, Ordinary Elephant, Susan Gibson, Bonnie Whitmore, Jaimee Harris and Shelley King. Jam Sanitchat of Thai Fresh is teaching an online cooking class at 3 p.m. on Nov. 14.
"We’ve survived wind, cold, sleet, rain and three moves. When COVID-19 hit, we were determined not to be defeated," co-director Hester Weigand said via release. "The needs of our community are greater than ever. So we’re moving again, this time online."
The auction is open through Nov. 22, and you can find out more and buy tickets to the online events at austinemptybowl.org.
The event has raised more than $1,200,000 since it started in 1997. In 2017, they compiled recipes for a community cookbook, which is now sold out.
From the archives: Charles Mayes’ recipe for Fire-Roasted Artichoke Tomato Bisque