A flood happened in 1997, 12 years ago, in Fort Collins and was a serious problem. Empty bowls started because too many people were in need of more food. Mr. McCarthy started by asking art teacher friends to help make bowls and soup. He asked them if they could help him with this program and they said yes. Poudre High School was the only school that made bowls the first year. The Empty Bowls banquet got bigger every year because the 40 people told friends and those friends told their friends and so on. Empty Bowls has gotten very popular in Fort Collins. 40 people then became 100. Then 200 the third, and this year 580 people came to the 12 anniversary of empty bowls. Empty bowls is now the biggest single fundraiser for the Food Banks of Larimer County. Soup was cooked in Lopez's Cafeteria the first year.
Empty bowls is now served at the Hilton hotel in Fort Collins. The Hilton Hotel is the only place in Fort Collins that is able to hold 580 people. Empty Bowls made a little over $56,000 this 12th year. The first year they charged $25 each. This year they charged $45. With that money you get soup, salad, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, you can eat as much as you want and you get the bowl you choose. They also have a silent action for paintings and other art work which was donated by local potters and artists. Many of the pictures were taken by our ThinkQuest team.