Empty Bowls

Announcing the 22nd Annual Empty Bowls!

Monday, October 23, 2023
10:00AM – 6:00PM
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville-Biltmore
115 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803

About the Event

Today in Western North Carolina, more than 155,000 people are facing an empty bowl every month. But you can help fill those bowls and become part of a collective effort to end hunger in WNC at MANNA FoodBank’s 22nd Annual Empty Bowls event!   

A fusion of creativity and compassion, Empty Bowls serves as a poignant reminder that, while art has the power to uplift and inspire, it can also serve as a platform for raising awareness about the very real problem of hunger across our mountains. Guests select a bowl handmade by local artisans and take with them a seasonal meal of delicious soups, breads, and dessert. The souvenir bowl that guests take home reminds them of the many WNC neighbors that are currently struggling to afford groceries. 

Almost every part of the event is donated, including the event space, food, and local pottery and art. This allows MANNA to use event proceeds for our critical food distribution programs, which are currently reaching 155,000 food insecure neighbors every month across our 16-county service area, including the Qualla Boundary. Every dollar raised can help provide food for 4 meals. Since 2002, the collective generosity of our Empty Bowls guests, potters, sponsors, culinary partners, and everyone who has ever had a hand in the event, has allowed MANNA to provide the equivalent of 3.6 MILLION MEALS across Western North Carolina. 

Collector’s Corner

In addition to the souvenir soup bowls that ticket holders select, guests may purchase special works of high-end craft and art at the Collector’s Corner. Collector’s Corner items are both functional and gallery-quality pieces selected by the artists. 100% of the proceeds from Collector’s Corner sales go directly to supporting MANNA’s mission of ending hunger in WNC. The public is invited to shop the Collector’s Corner, even if they are not able to attend the Empty Bowls event. 


MANNA hosts its annual Empty Bowls event in a walk-through format. Guests choose a one-hour time window that best suits their schedule, then arrive at the DoubleTree during that time window to select their bowl, choose their soups, and pick up bread + dessert. Guests can choose a one-hour time window any time between 10 AM and 6 PM, and can arrive any time during their chosen one-hour window. Both limited seating for those who would like to enjoy their meal in person AND limited curbside service for those who wish to remain in their cars are available. 

Adult Ticket: $45 (includes your choice of one souvenir pottery bowl handmade by a local artist, your choice of three soups/stews/chowders packaged to go, and bread + dessert packaged to go) 

Kids Package: $10 (includes one souvenir kid’s bowl handmade by a local artist and other pint-sized goodies) 

Fur Kids Package: $30 (guests choose a dog or cat package; includes one souvenir pottery pet bowl handmade by a local artist, yummy treats for your furry friend, and other fun surprises) 

Our Potters + Artisans: The Backbone of Empty Bowls

It takes many talented artists thousands of hours to craft the bowls that are the namesake, the heart of, and the takeaway from MANNA’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. MANNA is fortunate to have incredible support from experienced potters and ceramic artists who help create the vibrant arts and crafts community in Western North Carolina. The bowls our guests take home are beautiful, functional pieces of art that become treasured keepsakes.
Here are some of the potters whose works you’ll find at Empty Bowls:

Roger Alexander* 

Erika Arroyo, The Laughing Potter 

Denise Baker, Denise Baker Pottery 

Ann and Sandy Batton, Batton Clayworks 

John Britt, John Britt Pottery 

Eirene Burnette, IyaBlu’ Inc. 

Honey Burrell, Dancing Leaves Pottery 

Julie Calhoun-Roepnack, JCR Designs 

Annie Clingenpeel 

Tisha Cook, Odyssey ClayWorks 

Al Dawson 

Lynn Dressler 

Jerry Edminson 

Ron “Grumpy” Edwards 

Paul Frehe, Odyssey ClayWorks 

Terri Friday, Terri Friday Pottery 

Barbara Gerber 

Paul Gisondo 

Elinor Hess* 

Anne Jerman, Dragonfly Studio 

Sue Salvaterra Hintz, Salvaterra Pottery 

Elaine Karpen, Reems Creek Pottery 

Robin Katz 

Laura Kaufman, Mud High Pottery 

Steve Kearns, Homeplate Pottery 

Bobbie Kelston, Lighten Up Designs 

Gabriel Kline, Odyssey ClayWorks 

Elaine Lacy, Under The Oaks Pottery 

Beth and Rob Mangum, Mangum Pottery 

Brian and Gail McCarthy, Highwater Clays 

Jim McDowell, The Black Potter 

Robert Milnes, Robert Milnes Studio 

Peg Morar, Peg Morar Pottery 

Shirl and Jim Parmentier, Parmentier Pottery 

Pat Patterson* 

Joan Pennington, Mud Addict 

Rhona Polonsky, Rhona Polonsky Pottery 

Diane Puckett, Dry Ridge Pottery 

John Ransmeier 

Rachel Smith, Pottery by Rachel at Reems Creek Pottery 

Marianne Soufas, Marianne Soufas Pottery 

Lori Theriault + Supporting Potters, The Village Potters and Crazy Green Studios 

Walter Tomialowicz 

Ann Trousdale* 

*Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community Potters 

Culinary Partners: Filling Hearts and Bellies for 22 Years

MANNA’s partnership with the Asheville-area’s celebrated culinary industry plays an important part in the success of our annual Empty Bowls fundraiser. These dedicated partners put their heart into feeding our community all year long, and Empty Bowls is no exception. This year’s guests will enjoy a variety of flavorful, hearty soups, stews, and bisques, made-from-scratch breads and biscuits, and delicious desserts. We are grateful for this year’s participating chefs and bakers:


(More to come! Check back soon to see descriptions of what each chef is creating.)

Breads + Desserts

About the Event Sponsors

MANNA deeply appreciates the support of our Empty Bowls sponsors. These sponsors share our vision of a hunger-free WNC, and are investing in that vision through their support of Empty Bowls.

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Mangum Pottery and Owle Construction, LLC