Annual Empty Bowls event postponed to 2022

‘We are asking everyone to recall all of the happy memories of Empty Bowls, and to donate the price of your ticket or your normal donation directly to Cullman Caring for Kids’

Hundreds of hand-thrown pottery bowls have been made in past years for the annual Empty Bowls of Cullman County Chili Dinner. The bowl pictured was made in 2020. (2020 Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – One of the area’s most popular annual events since 2003, the Empty Bowls of Cullman County Chili Dinner, will not take place this year. The announcement was made Wednesday by Javon Daniel, executive director of Cullman Caring for Kids, the nonprofit which is the beneficiary of the dinner.

Organizers of Empty Bowls, which is not only a fundraiser, but also a night of food, fun and fellowship, released a letter to supporters Thursday. Read the full letter below:

Empty Bowls Memories

Things will be a little different in Cullman on President’s Day this year. First Methodist’s Hearin Hall will be sadly quiet.

For 17 wonderful years, on the third Monday in February, Hearin Hall has been a buzz of community activity. The mouthwatering aromas of chili and grilled cheese sandwiches waffling through the air, sounds of Southern Gospel music, beautiful clay bowls stacked on tables waiting to go home with guests. And most importantly, the sights and sounds of our community coming together for a common cause, raising money for Cullman Caring for Kids Food Bank.

Empty Bowls of Cullman County is being delayed this year until February 2022. Organizers felt it best to postpone the event this year for several reasons, the pandemic being one.

Also, due to the exceptional success of last year’s empty bowls, which raised $24,000, our supply of bowls has been depleted. Many of the Empty Bowl potters either have retired or are unable to continue making bowls.

Our hope is that by February 2022, we will be able to gather in person again and have replenished our supply of bowls.

Even though we will not be having empty bowls this year, the need of the Cullman Caring for Kids food bank is the same. In 17 years, Empty Bowls has raised over $190,000 for the food bank. In the last 10 years alone, an average of 900 people participated yearly, raising an average of $13,000 for the Cullman Caring for Kids Food Bank each year. This money helped provide food for those in need for several months.

It is easy to understand how this deficit will have an impact on the ability of Cullman Caring for Kids to provide for those in need in our community.

While Empty Bowls does not have the ability to give you a beautiful bowl, warm chili, a night of music and fellowship this year, the ongoing need for the money raised from Empty Bowls is still there. Without the money that would normally be raised this year, the food bank will face a shortage of approximately $13,000 this year. Through careful stewardship each dollar given to the food bank Cullman Caring for Kids will purchase 7 lbs. of food, $20 will purchase 140 lbs. of food and $100 will purchase 700 lbs. of food. This will go a long way to help maintain the food bank for our community. We are asking everyone to recall all of the happy memories of Empty Bowls, and to donate the price of your ticket or your normal donation directly to Cullman Caring for Kids. There are several ways to donate directly to Cullman Caring for Kids.

Send your Empty Bowls donation directly to:

Cullman Caring for Kids

402 Arnold St. NE

Cullman, AL  35055

Phone: 256-739-1111


Or donate online at: or


Also, share your special memories of your family and Empty Bowls on the Cullman Caring for Kids website.

We thank Our Awesome God for 17 wonderful years of Empty Bowls dinners and for all of you!

“and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

                                                                                                                          Isaiah 58:10 NIV


Blessings from all of us,

Tanya Shearer, Bobby Nolen, Debbie Morrison, Lynn Jetton, T.J. Franey, Martha Burchell, Clint Creel, David Bussman and Lacie Widner


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