5Cities Homeless Coalition staff and volunteers are busy planning the fifth annual Empty Bowls Community Luncheon to benefit those facing homelessness and poverty in southern SLO County. The 2016 event is scheduled Thursday, September 22, and will again be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Arroyo Grande.
Event planners say they need some extra help this year, however – from artists willing to create the empty bowls that are filled during the event with delicious soups provided by local restaurants, and from businesses and individuals who through sponsorships want to show they care.
More than 600 bowls are needed for those expected to attend. Ticket-buyers, who pay $25, get to keep the hand-crafted works of art after they enjoy their meal. Artists who are willing to make and donate bowls for the event join a distinguished group of more than two dozen artists who have contributed their time and talent in the past, including Guyla Amyx, Gary Gall, Dan Hall, Bob Nichols, Richard Rowe, Shevon Sullivan and Ben Trogdon.
Businesses and individuals who are interested in helping promote the event have a range of sponsorship levels to choose from, beginning at just $100. Last year’s Empty Bowls Community Luncheon raised more than $28,000, and event planners are hoping to surpass the $30,000 mark this year.
During the first few months of 2016, calls to 5CHC for help increased three-fold over the same period in 2015. There has bee a definite increase in calls from families who are facing eviction and other hardships, and Empty Bowls is the signature event bringing the community together to address these needs.
To volunteer to make empty bowls, or to help sponsor the event, contact Charlotte Alexander at (805) 574-1638.