Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Hosts Santa Maria Empty Bowls with Drive-Thru Fundraiser to Support Residents Facing Hunger

Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Hosts Santa Maria Empty Bowls with Drive-Thru Fundraiser to Support Residents Facing Hunger title=
Foodbank of Santa Barbara County Hosts Santa Maria Empty Bowls with Drive-Thru Fundraiser to Support Residents Facing Hunger
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Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 11:00

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will host the beloved annual community celebration Santa Maria Empty Bowls to raise awareness and funds to provide healthy groceries and fresh produce for those facing hunger in the Santa Maria Valley on Wednesday, November 3 from 11 am to 2 pm at Santa Maria Fairpark at 937 S. Thornburg.

To ensure community safety, Empty Bowls will be held in drive-thru format. Attendees will receive a pre-selected, handmade bowl and heat-&-serve gourmet soup to enjoy at home or work.

Tickets are $25 each, for time slots on the hour and half hour, and may be purchased at

Ten-ticket party packs are available for $250. The Foodbank will deliver to any single address in Santa Maria a pack of (multiples of) 10 handmade bowls and 10 servings of heat-&-serve soup. Community members who choose the Party Pack option will be able to select what type of soup(s) they receive. Foodbank team members will reach out in the days prior to the event to take soup orders for Party Pack delivery.

Generous donors of gourmet soups will include members of the Allan Hancock College Culinary Arts Program (roast chicken and brown rice), Jaffe Café (red lentil), Jack’s in Orcutt (navy bean and ham), Moxie Café (tri-tip chili), Olive Garden, Santa Maria Country Club (chicken pot pie), Santa Maria Inn (albondigas), Splash Café (clam chowder), Testa Catering (creamy ginger carrot), VTC Enterprises (southwest pumpkin) and Zoe's Hawaiian BBQ (chicken tortilla). More soup providers and flavors will be available at the event. Attendees will be able to choose upon arrival which soup they receive.

Hand-painted bowls are being provided by community members from Oasis Senior Center, Righetti, St. Joseph’s and Orcutt Academy high schools, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mid Central Coast, and by Foodbank and Empty Bowls champion Shirley Hinzo & friends – the Jimenez family, Samantha and Sara Plemmans, Jade and Melissa Reyes, Chris Shuman, artists from Fesler Junior High School and the City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, and the Vandenberg Spouses Club. Hundreds of handmade ceramic bowls will be provided by the Allan Hancock College ceramics program, Sue Southern and Ben Trogdon.

Empty Bowls supporters may participate in a free virtual photo booth. Selfie frames and an Empty Bowls photo album will be available courtesy of That One Photobooth and owner/founder Vanessa Grossman, who is also a long-time member of the planning committee for Santa Maria Empty Bowls. Community members may text their soup-selfies to 805-321-1654 on Wednesday, November 3 from 8 am to 6 pm and receive their framed photo back by text. All event photos will be available at That One Photobooth’s website the following day, Thursday, November 4,

Bowl exchange opportunity:
While bowls will be pre-selected at random by Foodbank staff on the day of the Empty Bowls event, community members who would like to trade in the bowls they receive for ones that they choose themselves will have a chance to do so on the following day, Thursday, November 4 from 8 am to 4 pm at the Foodbank’s Santa Maria warehouse at 490 West Foster Road. No appointment is needed.

Santa Maria Empty Bowls 2021 host committee members include Carol Torres, chair, Patsy Aguirre, Maggi Daane, Donna Denham, Vanessa Grossman, Ron Lovell and Elizabeth Sanchez, who also serves on the Foodbank’s Board of Trustees.

The Foodbank thanks the following generous sponsors of Santa Maria Empty Bowls: Pacific Premier Bank, Farm Credit West, Hardy Diagnostics, Atlas Copco, Dignity Health Marian Medical Foundation, Mechanics Banks, Pea King Produce, Allan Hancock College, Bank of America, Bethel Lutheran Church and Grower-Shipper Association of Central California.

For questions about Santa Maria Empty Bowls 2021, community members may email Anna Boren at

About the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through a network of more than 300 partner agencies, nutrition education programs and food distribution sites operated by the Foodbank and its volunteers. Over the last year, our response to the Covid-19 economic crisis has included distributing 27 million pounds of food, making more than 65,000 home deliveries of healthy groceries to seniors and adults with disabilities, and launching new services in high-poverty areas, such as our Healthy Farmworkers program. For many people in our community, recovery from the economic crisis is expected to take 18 to 24 months. With the community’s continued support, the Foodbank will be a significant driver of economic recovery for Santa Barbara County. For more information, visit

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