The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will host its 17th  Lompoc Empty Bowls fundraiser, Wednesday, July 27 at the Dick DeWees Community & Senior Center, 1120 Ocean Ave., with seatings at 11:30 a.m and 12:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 and are available at or may be purchased in Lompoc at Chapter 2 Bookstore, 1137 N. “H” St., Ste. Q, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and at the Vandenberg Village Water District Office, 3745 E. Constellation Road, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Some outdoor seating will be available at the event. Health and safety recommendations in place on July 27 from Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will be observed.

The Foodbank will use all proceeds raised to provide healthy groceries, fresh produce and nutrition education to Lompoc residents who are facing hunger and food insecurity.

Empty Bowls guests will select a unique, hand-painted bowl, enjoy a simple lunch of soup, bread and water, be able to participate in a raffle extravaganza and silent auction and purchase custom succulent plantings for $10. Entertainment will include music provided by DJ Suz and bowl-making demonstrations by Mike McNutt of Allan Hancock College’s ceramics program.

“For me, Empty Bowls began with my employers George and Anna Stillman and Roger McConnell. They teamed up with the Foodbank to bring this event to life in Lompoc. I felt like it was my responsibility to continue it,” said Lompoc Empty Bowls host committee chair, Erika Culwell.

“I believe in the Foodbank’s mission and the idea that our event can help people within our community is very gratifying,” she said.

“The last Lompoc Empty Bowls was scheduled for March 28, 2020, and was cancelled at the very last minute due to lockdowns that had just been put into place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” explained Foodbank donor relations supervisor Anna Boren. “Everything was planned, and we were ready to go.

“We were so disappointed to have to cancel at the last minute. That’s why we’re rejoicing so much to gather with the community this summer for Lompoc Empty Bowls.”

Attendees will enjoy the process of choosing from among hundreds of one-of-a-kind bowls, provided by Allan Hancock College, Santa Ynez Valley Community Outreach (formerly known as the Buellton Senior Center), Lompoc Valley Middle School and Vandenberg Spouses Club.

The bowls can be used to enjoy the soup of the guest’s choice at the event, and to keep as a reminder of Empty Bowls’ purpose: to raise awareness and funds to serve those in our community who don’t have enough food to eat.

Gourmet soups will be created and donated by local chefs and restaurants including Tom’s Burgers, AJ Spurs, Buellton Rotary, Industrial Eats/Eye on I, Santa Ynez Kitchen, Luca’s, La Botte, and longtime Lompoc resident, the Foodbank’s own Jamie Diggs. Bread will be provide by Albertsons and Walmart in Lompoc.

Celebrity volunteers serving soup will include Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gregg Hart, Lompoc Mayor Jenelle Osborne and news anchors from KSBY.

Leftover soup from the event will be shared with community members undergoing cancer treatment and their caregivers via a home delivery program of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Outreach.\

A community-based raffle and silent auction will feature prizes including handmade, artisan creations, food and wines, special experiences and a quilt made by the late Lompoc textile artist and longtime supporter of Lompoc Empty Bowls, Arlene Cheatham.

Community members who wish to volunteer for Lompoc Empty Bowls (set-up, service, clean-up, and more) may sign up at or may email Kelly Smith at

The Foodbank is thanks the following sponsors of 2022 Lompoc Empty Bowl: Baroda Farms, Busy Bee’s Organics, Central Coast Agriculture, Scripps Howard Foundation, CenCal Health, CoastHills Credit Union. Rob and Heidi Holdsambeck, Imerys, Mechanics Bank, Union Bank, Wealth Enhancement Group, Allan Hancock College, Assisted Home Health, Starbuck-Lind Mortuary, Sunset Auto Center, Animal Care Hospital, DenMat Corporation, Engen Enterprises (Taco Bell), Barbara and James Raggio, Village Veterinary Clinic and Wiser Property Management.

The Foodbank is grateful to the Lompoc Empty Bowls committee, which has worked tirelessly for several months to make this event possible: chairperson Erika Culwell, Pam Gnekow, Denise Laliberte, Alice Laufer, Julie Menicucci and Lisa Schuyler.

For more information, contact the Foodbank, 805-967-5741 ext. 306.