Columbia Gorge Food Bank will be hosting a benefit soup dinner on Thursday at Bargeway Pub in The Dalles. The event will be The Dalles’ first Empty Bowls Benefit soup dinner, with the intention for it to become an annual event.

Empty Bowls is an international project designed to fight hunger that was created in 1990 by Lisa Blackburn and art teacher John Hartom. Blackburn and Hartom joined a charity drive in their Michigan community and Hartom had the idea to give artists and art students a way to make a personal difference. He had his art students make ceramic bowls which were then used to serve soup during a fundraising meal. Guests who donated to the meal got to keep the bowls.

As time has gone on, Empty Bowls has spread across the world, with different communities hosting the event at different times of year. Each community also adapts the idea to what fits them. Some communities have bowls from more than just ceramics artists, also utilizing creations from wood turners, glassblowers or metal smiths.

CGFB’s version of the event will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 6. at Bargeway Pub, located at 1535 Bargeway Rd., in The Dalles. Tickets will be a suggested $20 donation at the door, with all proceeds going to CGFB’s local programs. CGFB currently provides free nutritious food to more than 5,000 families per month through 43 community partners in Sherman, Wasco and Hood River counties.

According to a press release from CGFB, the event will feature live music and guests will be able to choose from three soups, fresh local breads and no-host bar refreshments. Those attending will also get a “sneak peek” at the progress on the food bank’s new warehouse and Community Food Center, which is expected to open this winter.

“Each guest will choose a handcrafted bowl to keep thanks to donations from local backyard potters, ceramics studios across the Gorge, and schools across the state — a reminder that although hunger persists in our community, we all have the power to help,” the release says.

CGFB is looking for volunteers for the event. Those interested should reach out to

For those who can’t attend the event but still want to participate and support CGFB, there will be an online auction featuring more than 50 handmade ceramic works, local beer and wine, handcrafted items and more. The auction will open at 7 a.m., Monday, Oct. 3, and will close 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10. Those wanting to bid or peruse the auction can go to