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Boreal Community Media

Cook County Empty Bowls 2022 event raises over $5,000; organization still short funds needed to fight food insecurity in county

Nov 25, 2022 11:47AM ● By Content Editor
Photos: All photos by Kelsey Rogers Kennedy

By Laura Durenberger-Grunow - Boreal Community Media - November 25, 2022


The Cook County chapter of Empty Bowls has been around since 2006, and plays a major role in fighting food insecurity in the area. 


Each year, organizers from the chapter host an event in partnership with the Grand Marais Art Colony and many local businesses and restaurants. 


Due to COVID, the in-person event was put on hold, but on November 17, 2022, was finally back. Organized by Pat Campanaro, Judi Barsness, Donna Lunke, and Beth Kennedy, the event included a soup lunch and supper, and a bake sale. Art bowls were donated by local artists through the Grand Marais Art Colony. In total, the event raised $5385 dollars. 


Boreal Community Media talked with one of the event organizers, Beth Kennedy, who said that the Empty Bowls organization is still in need of and accepting donations through December 31 of this year.



According to Kennedy, the organization is short $20,000 from last year. 

The donations are distributed throughout the county. Here is a list of the Empty Bowl recipients in 2021:

Local schools and childcare:

  • Oshgi Ogimag: $2000

  • Cook County Schools: $3000 

  • Great Lunch (at Great Expectations): $3000  

  • Birch Grove Saplings: $500

  • Birch Grove: $1000

  • Cooperation Station: $2000

  • We Folk Childcare $2500

  • Step Up Childcare $ 1000

Cook County organizations:

  • Council on Aging: $1500

  • Cook County Extension: $1000 Snacks and Packs

  • Cook County Community Ed: $2000

  • Cook County Public Health: $2500

  • Violence Prevention Center: $800

  • Cook County YMCA: $2500 

  • Rubys Pantry: $250

  • Food Shelf: $15,000

So far, in 2022, the organization has raised $42,444.97 and donated to the following:

Local schools and childcare:

  • Great Lunch: $5000

  • Cook County YMCA: $5000

  • Grand Portage Head Start: $ 3000

  • Cook County Schools: $2000

  • Cook County Youth Agency Coalition: $5000

  • Cook County Vikings: $500

  • Oshgi Ogimaag: $2000

  • Cook County school counselor: $1000

  • Sawtooth Elementary: $500

  • Birch Grove Samplings: $2500

  • Birch Grove Community School: $2500

  • Cooperation Station: $3000

Cook County organizations:

  • Small Requests (distributes money to those who are experiencing hardship): $1200

  • Chowder Feed: $4000

  • Cook County - Snacks and Packs: $1500

  • Community Education: $3000

  • Sawtooth Mountain Clinic: $1200

  • Cook County Higher Ed: $1200

  • Trinity Lutheran Church: $500

  • Cook County Council on Aging: $3000

  • Zoar Lutheran: $5000 ( Rubys Pantry Start Up )

  • Cook County Public Health: $1500

  • Grand Portage Human Services: $2500

  • Grand Marais Food Shelf: $3000


To make a donation to Empty Bowls (which is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit), visit www.emptybowlscookcounty.org, or mail a check to:

Empty Bowls

PO Box 294

Grand Marais, MN 55604