Empty Bowls fundraiser in Lompoc set to return March 23, 2016

**2017 SAVE THE DATE: 13th Annual Lompoc Empty Bowls, March 22, 2017.***

The 12th annual Lompoc Empty Bowls fundraiser, which will benefit local programs managed by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, is slated to return to the Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center on March 23.

The popular event is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the main ballroom at the DeWees Center, which is located at 1120 W. Ocean Ave.

Tickets at $25 per person can be purchased online at www.foodbanksbc.org/events, which also has information on other community programs.

The Empty Bowls event raises funds to help the Foodbank address hunger and malnutrition in the Lompoc Valley.

Attendees will be able to select a handcrafted ceramic bowl, enjoy a simple meal of gourmet soup and bread and bid on a host of items in a silent auction.

At the end of the event, guests will take their bowls home as a reminder of the meal’s purpose: to provide wholesome and hearty food for the hungry and to raise awareness about hunger in the Lompoc region.

This year continues the tradition of a Bowl Repurpose program.

Attendees of past events can participate in the program through mid-March by bringing their bowls from previous fundraisers to two locations: Rabobank at 828 North H St. during business hours; and the Lompoc Museum at 200 South H St. between 1 and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends.

All funds raised at the Lompoc Empty Bowls will remain in Lompoc, where they will be used to provide services to Lompoc-area families, according to organizers.

Among those services are local food distribution programs run by various local nonprofit and faith-based organizations, as well as such Foodbank-operated programs as the Senior Brown Bag, Kids Farmers Market and the Healthy School Pantry programs.

From July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, in partnership with 34 food distribution programs, the Foodbank reported it distributed nearly 1.06 million pounds of food to 17,319 individuals in the Lompoc Valley.

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