Soup Bowls on a table

Soup Bowl Benefit 2010

Details:Sixteen years ago, a small group of organizers held the first Soup Bowl Benefit in the basement of St. Paul’s and raised a few thousand dollars for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank (HHFB).  This year the 15th annual Soup Bowl Benefit for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank will be held at the Monroe County Convention Center at 5pm on Sunday, February 21, 2009. Tickets will be available for $25 in advance at all 3 Bloomingfoods stores, Yarns Unlimited and the Food Bank, starting on Monday, January 18, 2009.  Attendees receive a handmade bowl with a regular ticket.  Children’s tickets for paper bowls will be available at the door on the day of the event for $6.  The event will feature a musical performances by the IU African American Choral Ensemble and Steve Sobiech. For further ticket or other information, please call 334-8374.
Background:The Soup Bowl Benefit has become a staple event in Bloomington over the past dozen years and has grown to provide the largest contribution to the Food Bank’s annual operating budget.  The 2009 benefit raised nearly $80,000 for the Food Bank, and this year is set to be equally fruitful.  The Food Bank is in a time of great need with hunger on the rise throughout Indiana, as in much of the rest of the country, and resources being stretched thin.

Community Support:The success of the Soup Bowl Benefit can be credited to the wide participation of the Bloomington arts, business and larger communities: potters donate over 600 handmade bowls each year; over a dozen restaurants donate tasty soup; several bakeries donate hearty bread and cookies; local businesses donate door prizes and cash contributions; musicians donate their time and talents; artists donate decorations; dozens of people donate their time to make the event run smoothly; and over 600 people buy tickets and attend the benefit each year.

For the past 23 years, the Hoosier Hills Food Bank has been a primary source of food for hungry families in Bloomington and six surrounding counties. The Food Bank serves as the central clearinghouse for restaurants, grocery stores, manufacturers, farmers, and food distributors. It provides over a hundred local non-profit organizations with food to support programs that benefit ill people, needy families, children, and senior citizens. Low-income day care centers, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and emergency food pantries use Food Bank products to feed some 15,000 people every month.

The Soup Bowl Benefit is one part of an expanding network of benefit events known in various locations as the Empty Bowls Project ; a world-wide grassroots effort to bring communities together to fight hunger.

Its roots: The idea for the Bloomington event originated with Carrie Newcomer and Robert Meitus, who participated in a similar community gathering during their travels as touring musicians in the early 1990's. Pulling together a small, but mighty contingent of artists and other friends, they set the wheels in motion to bring the simple, yet elegant idea of the Soup Bowl to Bloomington 12 years ago.

If you have questions about the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, please contact Dan Taylor, 334-8374 or e-mail

Here are Steven Wallace's photos from Soup Bowl 2007

Here are a few pictures from Soup Bowl 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2001

Click here to see a few of the Soup Bowl Benefit Potters at work

Bakehouse soup and bread