Virtual Empty Bowls:

A Benefit for Bidwell Riverside Center


Thursday, November 5th 7:00 PM

Bidwell Riverside Center provides support to Iowa’s most vulnerable families through our two primary programs, a Food & Clothing Pantry and Child Development Center. Through these programs, Bidwell continues to work towards a vision of a future where no one lives in poverty and every person has the opportunity for a positive future. In the age of COVID-19, those living in poverty are struggling to make ends meet now more than ever.


Our Empty Bowls event seeks to shed light on the food insecurity faced by our neighbors and raise funds to support Bidwell Riverside Center's mission to increase stability and self-sufficiency in our community. 1 in 4 Polk County residents are food insecure, and Bidwell is working to change that. 

Due to COVID-19, we are holding the event virtually on our Facebook page and YouTube account this year. We'll miss seeing you all in person, but we can't wait to connect virtually with you and share all of the great work Bidwell Riverside Center has done in the past year! Starting on Monday, November 2, 2020, Bidwell Riverside Center will be auctioning off handmade artisan bowls. When you bid on and purchase one of these bowls, it will serve as a reminder to fill the bowls of others as often as you can.

The auction will remain open until 8:00 PM on Thursday, November 5th.


Then, on Thursday November 5th at 7:00 PM, join us on our Facebook page and YouTube account for a 30 minute video sharing the work Bidwell is doing, learn more about our programs, hear directly from a couple of our clients and families, and recognize our 2020 Volunteer of the Year and Community Partner of the Year!


Our Food & Clothing Pantry, the largest-serving food pantry in Iowa, served over 16,500 members of the community in 2019, and has remained open throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, serving over 8,000 individuals. Our Child Development Center has also remained fully operational throughout the pandemic, providing childcare to essential workers and their families. We were able to remain open and fully operational thanks to countless volunteers, donors, community leaders, friends, and organizations. These generous people have sustained our programs for more than a century through contributions of time, talent, and treasure.


Through your support, we can fill the bowls of those who are experiencing food insecurity. 

We are very fortunate to have the support of many talented local artists who donated their handmade bowls for our event: Marion Nehmer, Greg Lamont,  Katy Flynn, Dowling Catholic High School Ceramics Class, Creative Artists’ Studios of Ames, and the Des Moines Art Center. 

Photos are from last year's event. 


Our sincerest thanks go to our sponsors for this year's Virtual Empty Bowls event: Davis Brown Law Firm, MidAmerican Energy Company, and Great Western Bank.


Photos from last year's event: