STEP has wonderful opportunities to get involved in community events in support of our mission. We have opportunities for event planning, event volunteering, in-kind donations, and sponsorship. Details on STEP’s Empty Bowls, STEP in Steel Toe, and the CP Holiday Train follow. In 2019, STEP will hold the inaugural STEP Up Breakfast. Contact STEP for any questions or suggestions.

STEP Up Breakfast

ABOUT THE EVENT: STEP will host the second annual breakfast gathering on May 14, 2020 at the Metropolitan Ballroom. Rescheduled for October 2, 2020. Learn over breakfast about STEP’s programs that empower lives and inspire hope for our neighbors. Event is free to attend and breakfast is provided. Participants will be invited to donate to fuel STEP’s powerful programs.


    • Attend: Stay tuned for reservation details.
    • Table captains: If you would like to be a table host and invite your friends and colleagues to breakfast please contact STEP at 952-208-8769 or
    • Sponsors: Sponsorships available between the $1,000 and $12,000 levels. Contact STEP at 952-208-8769 or with questions or if interested.

Empty Bowls

ABOUT THE EVENT: Since 2002, approximately 1,000 neighbors join for a simple meal of soup and bread provided by local businesses for lunch or dinner. The primary purpose of the event is to build  awareness of food insecurity in our community. The event includes music entertainment and children’s activities. Participants receive a handmade pottery bowl to take home as a reminder of empty bowls in our community. A free-will donation benefits STEP programs.

In 2021, Empty Bowls will be held Thursday, February 11 at Westwood Lutheran Church.


  • Event planning committee: Meets weekly for 2-3 months to plan all facets of STEP’s largest event.
  • Soup and bread donations: Local licensed establishments are invited to donate soup or bread. Donors will be acknowledged at the event.
  • Sponsors: There is a long-standing primary sponsor of the event. Sponsorships at the $250 and $1,000 levels are welcome. Sponsors will be acknowledged before, during, and after the event.

Contact if interested in committing in any way to Empty Bowls.

STEP in Steel Toe 

Our annual STEP in Steel Toe event is back for a fifth year. But this time it will be different. As we continue to make the health and safety of our community a priority, the event will be held virtually through Zoom. Don’t fret though, you will still be able to enjoy Steel Toe beer.  A ticket price of $30 will include a full growler of Steel Toe Brewing beer of your choice. Click here to get your ticket and also donate to STEP.  The growler is yours to keep (and use for future visits to Steel Toe)!

To pick up your growler to enjoy during the virtual event, present the emailed receipt at the brewery on July 23 or July 24 only. Taproom is open 2pm-8pm. A big thank you to Steel Toe for continuing to support STEP!

This event supports STEP’s homelessness prevention efforts, which has seen a significant increase in need due to high unemployment.

Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets well ahead of time. Tickets can be purchased here. Your ticket confirmation will include Zoom details to participate in the live, virtual event.

Thank you to our sponsor, Citizens Independent Bank!

If you have any questions, please contact Faith Mainor 952-208-8769 or

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

Holiday Train photos by Todd Pernsteiner, 2016

ABOUT THE EVENT: The mission of the CP Holiday Train is to combat food insecurity in local communities. One thousand feet of 14 brightly decorated rail cars pulls into the community and stops in order to provide a pop-open concert from one of the cars. The Holiday Train has stopped three years in a row in St. Louis Park–right in front of STEP. Thousands of people from St. Louis Park and beyond came out on a cold day to see the spectacle of the train and participate in the pre-train festivities.

In 2020, the Holiday Train will stop schedule will be publicized in October. It is expected to stop in St. Louis Park at Lake Street & Library Lane.


  • Sponsors: Sponsorship levels for the St. Louis Park stop and pre-train festivities range between $250 and $5,000.
  • Vendors: Businesses and nonprofits are invited to provide a service, product, or activity that would be a good fit for the event. Vendors would be charged a small fee or could be part of a sponsorship level.
  • Volunteers: There will be need for day-of volunteers to collect food and financial donations, as well as helping to orient attendees.

Contact if interested in committing in any way to the SLP Holiday Train stop.