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Help Feed Foodbank by Filling Empty Bowls

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will host the 20th Annual Santa Barbara Empty Bowls fundraiser on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Ben Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave. Seatings begin at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

The annual event raises awareness about hunger and food insecurity throughout the community and raises funds to end hunger in Santa Barbara County.

“We’re always delighted to see the hundreds of supporters who join us to fill the bowl, and raise critical funds to support the Foodbank, which serves one in four individuals in Santa Barbara County through our 300 programs and partners annually,” said Erik Talkin, Foodbank CEO.

“We’re especially honored this year to celebrate two decades of the beloved Empty Bowls tradition with the loyal support of local artists, ceramicists, restaurants and volunteers who help move Santa Barbara from hunger into health,” he said.

“Empty Bowls provides an opportunity for many levels of giving — student and professional ceramics artists, our best restaurants, wonderful raffle donors, sponsorship from businesses and individuals, hundreds of smiling volunteers along with our loyal participants,” said Danyel Dean, Santa Barbara Empty Bowls founder and 20-year committee chair.

“Empty Bowls has created a rippling awareness of the many ways the Foodbank works to alleviate hunger. Our community responds enthusiastically to this cornerstone event," Dean said.

"Over the years, this endearing project has raised close to $2 million, providing nearly 16 million meals,” he said.

This year’s Santa Barbara Empty Bowls will feature soups from more than 20 local restaurants, and some 1,200 bowls donated by local ceramic artists and art students of all ages.

For $30, guests attending Empty Bowls select a handcrafted ceramic bowl, enjoy a simple meal of gourmet soup and homemade bread, and take home the bowl as a reminder of the meal’s purpose — to help feed the hungry in Santa Barbara.

After lunch, Empty Bowls guests can tour the warehouse next to the Page Center. Guests are urged to learn more about Foodbank at demonstration booths; sample a smoothie from the human-powered bike blender; and enjoy coffee from The French Press.

A raffle will feature an array of prizes, including overnights at Santa Barbara resorts, dinners at local restaurants, and gifts. Attendees can participate in a silent auction and shop for ceramic works crafted by the same artists who donate the soup bowls.

A limited number of unique bowls made by Merrillee Ford and Danyel Dean will be displayed and sold for $70, with six raffle tickets included with purchase.

Soups for Empty Bowls in 2017 are donated by Benchmark Eatery, Bouchon, Ca’ Dario, Camino Real Marketplace Costco, Downey’s, Flagstone Pantry, Four Season Resort The Biltmore, Fresco Café, Helena Avenue Bakery, and Louie’s at the Upham.

Also, Lucky’s Steakhouse, Max’s Restaurant & Cucina, The Nugget Downtown, Olio e Limone Ristorante, Opal, San Ysidro Ranch, The Secret Ingredient, Sly’s, Stella Mare’s, Toma Restaurant & Bar and The Black Sheep.

The 2017 Empty Bowls Santa Barbara is sponsored by the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Deckers Brands, Tomchin Family Charitable Trust, Maryan Schall, Mary Dee Thompson, Schipper Construction, Angela Moloney Braverman.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Carolyn & Philip Wyatt, Ford Family, Montecito Bank & Trust, Aera Energy, Cyndee Howard Family, The Towbes Foundation, Rabobank, Union Bank, Jack Tiethof Family, Sara Miller McCune.

HUB International, Danyel Dean and Peter Castellanos, Susan Rose and Allan Ghitterman, Sue and J. W. Colin, Leon and Elizabeth Olson, Jeff and Susan Bridges, NS Ceramic, Green Hills Software, CenCal Health.

Tickets are $30 and available at https://donate.foodbanksbc.org/SBemptybowls2017.

Free parking is available at San Marcos High School. A free shuttle provided by Santa Barbara Airbus will transport guests between San Marcos and the Page Center.

Limited $5 parking will be available near the Page Center, with Blue Star Parking providing valet services.

For more information, contact the Foodbank, 967-5741 ext. 110, or Empty Bowls Santa Barbara representative Dean, 564-6603.

The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its programs and a network of 300 member nonprofit partners.

Last year, the Foodbank distributed 10 million pounds of food, half of which was fresh produce. For more information, visit www.foodbanksbc.org.

— Judith Smith-Meyer for Foodbank.


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