Some of the beautiful bowls at
last year’s Empty Bowl.
Photo by John Taber

Grass Valley, Calif. Feb. 12, 2020 – The 14th annual Empty Bowl benefit for Hospitality House returns to Peace Lutheran Church on Saturday, March 14, 2020 to raise awareness and support for individuals struggling with homelessness. Dozens of artists, including renowned artists Dik Hotchkiss, Chic Lotz, Yvon Dockter, Mindy Oberne, Penny St. Clair, Paul Steege, Bob Davis, Carlos Angulo, Karl Miller and many more, have come together to make the event possible by creating and donating hundreds of handcrafted ceramic and wooden bowls.

Attendees of Empty Bowl will have an opportunity to hand-select a bowl of their choosing to keep forever and will then fill that bowl with hearty soup. This year all soup will be prepared by homeless students enrolled in Hospitality House Serves, a culinary job training program led by award-winning Chef Chris Fagan. Soup selection includes a vegan/gluten-free option with soup ingredients supplied by BriarPatch Food Co-op, SPD Markets and Interfaith Food Ministry.

“This is an opportunity for the students to be a part of the good work of Hospitality House,” said Chef Fagan. “The community’s support makes the job training program possible and this is our chance to showcase the program and for attendees to know their help makes a tremendous difference. In addition to cooking, students build up their self-confidence and learn necessary life skills required for self-sufficiency.”

In 2019, with the community’s help, Hospitality House provided 40,871 meals; served 566 unique homeless individuals; sheltered 363 people; and helped 170 people reach housing destinations. Empty Bowl is an opportunity to further these efforts in 2020 with every ticket supporting the shelter. Additional donations are always welcome.

Families show off the bowls at Empty Bowl 2019. Photo by John Taber

“Hundreds of people are in crisis in Nevada County,” said Nancy Baglietto, Executive Director of Hospitality House. “This event symbolizes the importance of a warm bowl of soup when you’re hungry and without a home.” 

In addition to receiving soup and a souvenir bowl, attendees of Empty Bowl will have an opportunity to hear directly from individuals struggling with homelessness and to participate in a raffle and silent auction, with amazing one-of-a-kind pieces created and donated by the artists. Additional prizes include fine dining at Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar, massages by Antouri Chiropractic, and one grand prize raffle winner will take home a one-night vacation to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in South Lake Tahoe, including dining!

Empty Bowl includes three seating options: brunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; lunch from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and early bird dinner from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Music is also a part of each seating. Attendees will hear from one of the following artists as they select their bowls: Heather MacAdam; Lisa Stine, Gale & Jeff Peach; or Dan Scanlan.

Further support for Empty Bowl comes from generous local businesses, including: AJA Video Systems, Inc., BriarPatch Food Co-op; Caseywood Corporation; Telestream; SPD Markets; Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital; Nevada County Association of Realtors; Whitewater Naturopathic Medicine; MWA, Inc.; Northern California Mortgage; KVMR; Peace Lutheran Church; Kathy Dotson Designs; YubaNet; The Union; Interfaith Food Ministry; ClientWorks; Alan Savage of EXP Realty; Power-Structures, LLC., and Law Office of Minor & Keene.

Tickets cost $30 per person and are available online at, at BriarPatch Community Co-Op, and at Bread & Roses Thrift & More. Tickets sold out last year and are likely to sell out again in advance. Children under age 12 will be admitted free but will only be eligible to receive an artisan bowl with a paid ticket. Empty Bowl takes place at Peace Lutheran Church, located at 828 W. Main Street in Grass Valley. Free parking is available onsite with additional parking available across the street at Lyman Gilmore Middle School, located at 10837 Rough and Ready Hwy, Grass Valley, CA 95945.