Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 2:37 pm | A Few Clouds 71º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Empty Bowls Raises Awareness, Funds for Foodbank

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County recently held its annual Santa Barbara Empty Bowls luncheon at the Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara.

This unique fundraising event benefits the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, which is celebrating over 30 years of eliminating hunger and food insecurity by distributing nutritious food, education and other resources through its own programs and to a network of over 330 member nonprofit partners in Santa Barbara County.

For a donation of $30 or more, participants chose a beautiful bowl handcrafted by local ceramic artists, enjoyed a simple meal of soup, bread and water, and got to take home the bowl as a reminder of the meal's purpose to feed the hungry in our community. At this year’s event was also an exquisite silent auction and great raffle items.

After the meal, attendees had the opportunity to see what Foodbank does first hand through a visit to the Foodbank’s Santa Barbara warehouse facility right next door. Guests visited Foodbank’s Feed the Future program demonstration booths, got to blend a smoothie on the human-energy powered bike blender, and enjoyed healthy savory sweets. Guests were also able to see where fresh produce and non-perishable goods are stored at Foodbank’s warehouse.

“I am in awe of the impact this event has been able to make in our community and how beloved it has become,” said Danyel Dean, founder of Santa Barbara Empty Bowls. “This event offers people the chance to participate on so many levels, giving of their talents and resources and deepening the understanding of the work done by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.”

Nearly 1,000 people attended this year’s Empty Bowls luncheon. Since its inception in 1998, Santa Barbara Empty Bowls has donated well over $1 million to Foodbank to help alleviate hunger in Santa Barbara County and has provided huge community awareness for Foodbank’s mission and work.

The event comes at an opportune time as Foodbank gears up once again for its holiday drives. This year’s goal is to raise $160,000 to support holiday distribution needs throughout Santa Barbara County.

Gourmet soups were donated this year by the Arlington Tavern, Benchmark Eatery, Four Seasons Biltmore, Bouchon, Ca'Dario, Downey's, Fresco Café, Louie's, Lucky's, Max's, Olio e Limone, Opal, San Ysidro Ranch, Savoy, Seagrass, The Secret Ingredient, Sly's, Stella Mare's, The Lark, Toma, Tre Lune and Zookers.

The event was sponsored by the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Tomchin Family Charitable Foundation, Deckers Outdoor Corp., The Towbes Foundation, Sue and J.W. Colin, Cyndee Howard, NS Ceramic, Ford Family Foundation, anonymous, Rabobank, Susan Rose and Allan Ghitterman, Union Bank, BB & H Benefit Designs, Molly Baur Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt, Jeff and Susan Bridges, American Riviera Bank, Brylen Technologies, the Jack Tiethof family, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Lockwood, Leon and Elizabeth Olson, the Phyllis Schechter Family, Green Hills Software, Schipper Construction, Santa Barbara Woodie Club, Sara Miller McCune, Montecito Bank & Trust and Glacier Asset Management LLC.

Donations were also made by ceramic artists: SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning, SBCC Ceramics Department, local elementary and high schools, and local professional potters. In-kind donations were from Classic Party Rentals, Cheryl Fontana Design, Haagen Printing, MarBorg Industries, Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara News-Press, Skyview Projects Brand Marketing and Sunburst Printing, and Pizza Guru donated pizza for volunteers.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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