The Empty Bowls Community Luncheon on September 18th raised more than $41,000 for 5Cities Homeless Coalition programs and services in southern SLO County.
Over the course of two and a half hours, more than 800 people ate soup and bread served by 30 local public servants and celebrities. Patrons consumed more than 120 gallons of soup and 50 loaves of bread provided by 25 local restaurants and bakeries, eating out of bowls selected from hundreds handmade and donated by local artists and students.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout and support from the local community,” according to 5Cities Homeless Coalition Executive Director Janna Nichols. “We are grateful to St. Patrick’s Church and the many businesses, congregations and organizations who work hand in hand with us to make this event so successful every year.”
Many of those same partners work with the Coalition throughout the year to help those who are homeless or at risk for homelessness, according to Nichols. “While permanent housing is the heart of our mission, we work with many agencies to help move people toward self-sufficiency. The solution to homelessness is not just a roof.” Money raised at Empty Bowls helps fund case management and a variety of programs and services, as well as providing direct financial assistance for families facing homelessness.
“Our challenge is to continue to provide help to our neighbors in need, while we are experiencing dramatic increases in requests,” says 5CHC Board President Mike Byrd. “Empty Bowls also helps raise awareness about issues surrounding homelessness: increasing rents, the high cost of living in the area, and finding a living-wage job to be able to pay for housing.”
Twenty-three local restaurants donated at least five gallons of their signature soups, and ceramic and wooden bowls were created by a variety of professional artists, Pottery Coast and Anam-Cré pottery studios, Central Coast Woodturners, and instructors and students at several local high schools and Allan Hancock College. Thanks to Altrusa International of San Luis Obispo County, students from Oceano Elementary and Lopez Continuation High School decorated more than 100 bowls specifically for the event.
Thank you to our sponsors:
- 1st Capital Bank
- Vivian Krug Cotton ~ Emotions Photography
- Mike McNutt & Ben Trogdon
- Rotary Five Cities Eco
- SLOCO Data & Printing
- DJ Bob Stock
- St. Patrick’s Catholic Church