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Proceeds from 19th Annual Empty Bowls Event Will Help Fill Foodbank Coffers

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County invites the community to help “fill the bowl,” and join them at the 19th Annual Santa Barbara Empty Bowls fundraiser from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Ben Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave.

Empty Bowls helps raise awareness about food insecurity throughout the community as well as raise funds to support the Foodbank in its mission to end hunger in Santa Barbara County.

“Each year, hundreds of supporters come together to 'fill the bowl,' and help support the Foodbank’s effort to raise critical funds to serve the one in four individuals in Santa Barbara County who receive food support through our 300 programs and partners annually,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

“With the loyal support of local artists, ceramicists and restaurants, we are honored to continue a beloved tradition, while fulfilling our mission to move Santa Barbara from hunger into health,” Talkin said.

This year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser 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 the $30 ticket price, guests attending Empty Bowls select a beautiful 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.

Tickets are available at

Free parking will be available at San Marcos High School. A free shuttle provided by Easy Lift Transportation will shuttle guests between San Marcos High and the Page Center. Limited $5 parking will be available near the Page Center.

Following lunch, Empty Bowls guests can experience the work of the Foodbank firsthand and participate in a walking tour of the warehouse facility located next door to the Page Center. Guests can learn more about the Foodbank at demonstration booths, sample a smoothie from the human-powered bike blender, and enjoy a dessert of pie and coffee from The French Press.

The event also will feature a raffle drawing with an assortment of prizes, including overnight stays at exclusive Santa Barbara resorts, dinners at the fine restaurants, gifts and more. Attendees can participate in an auction for ceramic gifts handcrafted by the same artists who donate the soup bowls. A limited number of uniquely designed bowls made by Merrillee Ford will be displayed and sold for $70, with six raffle tickets included with purchase.

The Foodbank thanks the following local chefs and restaurants for donating soups for Empty Bowls 2016: Benchmark Eatery, Bouchon, Ca’ Dario, Camino Real Marketplace, Costco, Downey’s, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Fresco Café, The Lark, Louie’s at the Upham, Lucky’s Steakhouse, Max’s Restaurant & Cucina, The Nugget Downtown, Olio e Limone Ristorante, Opal, San Ysidro Ranch, Savoy Café & Deli, Seagrass, The Secret Ingredient, Sly’s, Stella Marie’s Stella Mare’s, Toma Restaurant & Bar, and Zookers Restaurant

Sponsors of the 2016 Empty Bowls Santa Barbara: The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Tomchin Family Charitable Trust, Mary Dee Thompson, Schipper Construction, Deckers Brands, Carolyn & Phillip Wyatt, Angela Moloney Braverman, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Ford Family, Montecito Bank & Trust, The Towbes Foundation, Rabobank, Jack Tiethof Family, Sara Miller McCune, HUB International, Danyel Dean & Peter Castellanos, Susan Rose & Allan Ghitterman, Sue & J. W. Colin, Leon & Elizabeth Olson, Jeff & Susan Bridges, NS Ceramic, Green Hills Software, Cen-Cal Health, and American Riviera Bank

For more information, contact Foodbank, 967-5741 ext. 110.

— Carrie Cooper for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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