SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Barry Liker wants to help end hunger alongside the many neighbors and friends who came to support the Foodbank Santa Barbara County at the Empty Bowls event.
“I get to see my friends. The soups are great. The bread is great,” said Liker who attends Empty Bowls every year.
Local restaurants donated fresh gourmet soup and bread for hundreds of guests who lined up outside the Page Youth Center.
“It's like a rock concert but it's with food instead of music,” said CEO Erik Talkin with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara.
Organizers said more than 1,000 people came to Empty Bowls this year.
“This is a way for the whole community to come and have a good time and support the foodbank and to learn what it means to give back and to feed the people who are in need,” said volunteer coordinator Donna Karpeles.
Danyel Dean who participates every year, founded the event several decades ago.
“This is something I started in 1998. I was a ceramic artist years ago. I also had a restaurant and a bakery. Someone gave me this idea, and I was so touched by it,” said Dean.
After lunch, supporters got to take home one-of-a-kind bowls created by local artists.
The bowls serve as a reminder of the meal's purpose: to feed the hungry in our community.