Credit: Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be busy filling the cups, or more literally, the bowls, of local residents with its 23rd annual Empty Bowls fundraiser this Sunday, December 5.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Foodbank’s Santa Barbara warehouse will transform into an outdoor holiday marketplace. Attendees can select a handmade ceramic bowl and enjoy their choice of heat-and-serve soup to go. They’ll also score a brochure loaded with deals for S.B. dining at well-loved restaurants such as The Bluewater Grill and The Lark. Most importantly, every ticket sale will help the Foodbank provide healthy groceries, fresh produce, and nutrition education to low-income families and individuals.

Last year, the organization could only hold an online Empty Bowls event. Although in-person this year, safety and physical distancing will be encouraged by only allowing a select number of tickets to be sold during each of the four entry times. 

“The event is slightly different than the first 20 years, but we’ll be together in person and enjoying the creativity of local potters and ceramic artists while we support those in our community who face going to bed hungry every day,” said Foodbank CEO Erik Talkin. 

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Crane Country Day School 4th and 6th grade students are decorating the bowls this year, and the marketplace will feature other locally made ceramics, potted succulents, and a selection of other crafts for purchase. 

Guests can gain a closer look at the Foodbank’s mission and programs by taking a complimentary tour of its warehouse. Catering Connection is preparing the to-go soups, and will ensure that tasty options are included for all dietary needs.

“In this extraordinary time, we had to re-create Empty Bowls again. This year offers a new way for our giving circle to come together to help alleviate hunger in our community,” said Danyel Dean, Santa Barbara Empty Bowls founder and host committee chair. “We’re grateful to share the experience once again.”

Free parking is available at San Marcos High School and a continuously running free shuttle will transport guests between the school and Foodbank warehouse. Tickets are available to purchase online here.

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