Our Story

The PROP “Empty Bowls Story”

The first PROP Empty Bowls occurred in February 2012 after nearly a year of planning.

As the need for food and other services skyrocketed, we realized that community members had no idea of the severity of the growth.

In 2011, with the spark of some dedicated volunteers and PROP staff, we decided to create Empty Bowls (it started as Souper Bowl!) in Eden Prairie  to bring awareness to the community of those who aren’t able to feed their families on an everyday basis. Soup and bread represents a humble meal, but one that we can celebrate.


Clients turn to PROP seeking help primarily because of lost wages, unemployment, underemployment, health challenges, and family changes.  The common thread among all our clients is lack of income.  Nearly all (97%) of our clients are living below the poverty standard for Minnesota, with household incomes of less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or under $47,100 per year for a family of four.

Food insecurity is one of the early indicators of family economic crisis. You can delay paying a bill for several weeks, but you can’t delay eating!

The Original “Empty Bowls Story”

In 1990 a high school art teacher in Michigan helped his students solve a problem. They were searching for a way to raise funds to support a food drive. What evolved was a class project to make ceramic bowls for a fund raising meal. Guests were served a simple meal of soup and bread, and were invited to keep the bowl as a reminder of hunger in the world.

By the following year the originators had developed this concept into Empty Bowls, a project to provide support for food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations that fight hunger. Since then Empty Bowls events have been held throughout the world, and millions of dollars have been raised to combat hunger.




Summer Food for Kids 2018

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