Sunday, May 29 , 2016, 6:17 am | Fog/Mist 56º

Santa Barbara County Supporters Fill Up Their ‘Empty Bowls’ to Benefit Foodbank

16th annual fundraiser moves to the Page Youth Center, serving up easy access to the Foodbank's warehouse and distribution center

By Rochelle Rose, Noozhawk Contributing Writer | @NoozhawkSociety |

The 16th annual Empty Bowls Santa Barbara luncheon changed it up this year by moving to a new venue after many years at the Rockwood Woman’s Club.

This year’s fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County took place at the Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara, next door to the Foodbank’s warehouse and distribution center.

Many of the hundreds of attendees took advantage of tours of the well-organized warehouse following a healthy tasting of soups and fresh breads at the popular event. Guests were able to see where fresh produce as well as where nonperishable goods are stored in the warehouse.

Following tradition, upon entrance participants selected a beautiful handcrafted bowl or ceramic piece created by a local artist before enjoying a simple meal of soup, bread and water. Guests took home the bowl as a reminder of the meal's purpose to feed the hungry in our community.

This year, more than 1,200 bowls were donated by local potters, artists from SBCC Continuing Education program, and elementary through college students.

Soup and bread were donated by Adama, Arnoldi’s, Bouchon, Ca Dario, Café del Sol, Costco, Lucky’s, Louie’s, San Ysidro Ranch and many others.

Major sponsors included the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, the Tomchin Family Charitable Foundation, the Deckers Outdoor Corp., the Towbes Foundation, NS Ceramic, Venoco Inc., Rabobank, Jeff and Susan Bridges, Albertsons, American Riviera Bank, Sara Miller McCune, Montecito Bank & Trust, Brylen Technologies, Union Bank, Schipper Construction, Glacier Asset Management and more.

“I am in awe of the impact this event has been able to make in our community and how beloved it has become,” founder and longtime chairwoman Danyel Dean said.

The Foodbank is celebrating more than 30 years of eliminating hunger and food insecurity by distributing nutritious food, education and other resources through its programs and to a network of more than 300 member nonprofit partners and programs in Santa Barbara County. Last year, the Foodbank distributed what translates into more than 8.5 million meals — of which half was fresh produce. This served more than 102,000 unduplicated people from Carpinteria to Santa Maria, an amazing one in four people.

For the fifth consecutive time, the Foodbank has been given a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities.

For more information about the Foodbank, contact Diane Durst at 805.967.5741 or click here.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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