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Empty Bowls fill up March 27 in Lompoc

Event benefits Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

Empty Bowls board member Jerri Phillips arranges bowls for the 2011 fundraiser at the Veterans Memorial Building.
March 07, 2013 12:20 am  •  Staff report

A unique luncheon in Lompoc later this month will serve up gourmet soup in special bowls while helping fund a nonprofit group that feeds the hungry in the Lompoc Valley.

Empty Bowls, benefitting the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 27 at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 100 E. Locust Ave. in Lompoc. Lunch costs $25 and includes a simple meal of gourmet soup and bread plus a hand-crafted ceramic bowl.

Attendees can take the bowl home as a reminder of the meal’s purpose: To feed the hungry in Lompoc wholesome and hearty food and to raise awareness about hunger in the Lompoc Valley.

“The resources of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County serve 20 to 25 percent of those in need right here in our Lompoc Valley,” said Bob Lawrence, a Lompoc resident and a Foodbank of Santa Barbara County board member. “The annual Empty Bowls event affords the citizens of Lompoc a wonderful opportunity to assist in covering this monumental task of bringing more than 700,000 pounds of food to our community.”

Proceeds from Empty Bowls will serve Lompoc area families and fund crucial Foodbank programs such as the Senior Brown Bag program that provides recipients two bags of groceries each month to supplement their food budgets and to help maintain their self-sufficiency for as long as possible.

This spring, the Foodbank also will introduce an award-winning Healthy School Pantry program to the Lompoc area. The introduction will be timed to participate with Lompoc’s Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) initiative, which the City Council approved in the fall.

Healthy School Pantry pairs food distribution with a “health fair” approach to teaching children and their families the importance of nutritious eating, while providing practical ways to incorporate what people learn about nutrition into their daily lives.

DeWayne Holmdahl, now a member of the Lompoc City Council, is a former Foodbank board member.

“I was privileged to be involved with the Foodbank for many years, helping to expand its ability to supply food for families in need in the county,” Holmdahl said. “It’s been exciting to watch its growth and increased services to our community. As a supporter, I would like to thank the Foodbank for its many years of helping to feed the less fortunate.”

The fundraising luncheon’s financial success is enhanced by the sponsors and contributors that donate money, bowls and soup — including Imerys, Union, CoastHills Federal Credit Union, Baroda Farms, and founding member Roger McConnell of Stillman Capital Group.

Empty Bowls, which typically sells out each year, is open to the public. Tickets are available through committee members or at various community outlets including the Stillman Capital Group, Supervisor Peter Adam’s office, the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Rabobank’s North H Street branch, Sue’s Place, The Bookstore, Village Coffee Stop Café and the Walnut Pier Health Club.

Tickets may also be ordered from Foodbank by calling 937-3422, ext. 104 or going online to www.food banksbc.org. Tickets may also be available at the door on the day of the event, but pre-purchase is encouraged.

For more information about Empty Bowls, or the Foodbank and its programs, call Judi Monte at 937-3422, ext. 106.

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