Open Door Raises Record-Breaking $164,000

Wednesday May 11, 2022

Photos Courtesy of The Open Door. Empty Bowl TO GO 2.0 included a “photo booth” along the drive-thru route. From left: (back) The Open Door Board Member and Gloucester Director of Veterans Services Adam Curcuru, volunteer Bo Abrams, volunteer Jessica Lanier (in car), volunteer Bethany Newman, and volunteer Jessica Margiotta.

GLOUCESTER — Empty Bowl TO GO 2.0 raised a record-breaking $164,000 for The Open Door’s Mobile Market and Summer Meals for Kids programs this weekend, the most the established fundraiser has ever generated. 

In all, 771 people attended the drive-thru event on Saturday, May 7. 

“As the cost of living outpaces wages, the enduring message of “somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty” resonates deeply with many across the North Shore, and this weekend people turned out to give what they could to make sure that bowls would be full,” President and CEO Julie LaFontaine said. “Proceeds from this popular community event will help fund the Summer Meals and Mobile Market programs and help connect people to good food where they live, gather, and learn.” 

Participants wove through a drive-thru on Emerson Ave., brought to life by energetic volunteers waving handmade signs and displays along the route highlighting programs of The Open Door including the Mobile Market Farmer’s Truck, Second Glance, and Summer Meals for Kids. Participants also drove past the construction area for The Open Door Food and Nutrition Center, a capital building project to expand The Open Door facility and streamline operations. 

The Open Door’s online auction, an extension of Empty Bowl TO GO 2.0, continues to be available by visiting and closes May 13. The auction features 42 one-of-a kind bowls created by beloved Cape Ann artists and local elected officials. 

Soup and chowder for the event was prepared by Captain Hook’s, Causeway Restaurant, Seaport Grille, J.T. Farnhams, George’s Restaurant and Bar, Lobsta Land, Minglewood Harborside, Sugar Magnolias, Turner’s Seafood, Willow Rest, and The Open Door kitchen team, including locally renowned chef Ken Duckworth. 

Each bowl for the event was hand-painted by volunteers including professional artists, students, community groups and clubs, and local businesses. Once glazed, the bowls are fired by volunteer members of the community, schools, and community groups. 

The bowls go home as a reminder: somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty. More information about the event is available at

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