It is apparent, now more than ever, that Pittsburgh is becoming, or in many ways, has already become a city with a heavy appreciation for food. Named by many as a top food city, it is clear that Pittsburgh is setting the bar when it comes to food and dining out.

But even in a city with an abundance of great places to eat, there are many residents who do not have the ability to keep their bellies full. The reality is that a staggering one in seven people in Allegheny County are facing food insecurity, according to a 2016 study conducted by local non-profit Just Harvest. However, local organizations, businesses and members of the community are working together to bring an end to hunger in the region.

Empty Bowls is an international effort created to increase awareness about food insecurity and to raise resources at a local level to provide food to those in need. All proceeds for Pittsburgh’s 2019 Empty Bowls dinner will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Just Harvest—two non-profit organizations that work to help overcome food insecurity throughout the region.

A simple meal of soup and bread is donated by local restaurants and served in beautifully handcrafted ceramic bowls made and donated by local artisans, community groups, and schools. Of the restaurants who are donating soup for the event, several are designated with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program—which supports vibrant communities and a healthy environment throughout the region. Guests are encouraged to keep the bowl they choose as a reminder of all the empty bowls throughout the region and the world. This year’s event will also host an auction featuring art work and celebrity autographed bowls!

The Empty Bowls benefit dinner will be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at the Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland with two separate seating sessions; 1-3:30pm and 4-6pm. Tickets can be ordered in advance for $20 through or tickets are $25 at the door. Children 3-12 years old can attend for $10, while children under three attend for free.

If you are looking for a way to support your local community or simply want to try out some delicious new soup recipes from area restaurants, check out the Empty Bowls benefit dinner. You will leave with a belly full of soup and a heart full of pride knowing that you helped to provide a meal to someone in need.

Explore More

You are where you eat.

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant designation gives you the power to bring your personal values to life through your dining decisions. Choose from over 100 designated restaurants.