Empty Bowls campaign against hunger returns

Local restaurants and tasting rooms help feed the hungry in the SYV

Erica Valdes of PHP, left, and Stephany Reyes Chavarria from the Mad and Vin Restaurant hold the poster identifying the restaurant as a participant in the annual Dine and Donate fundraiser for PHP.

Staff Report

People Helping People will conduct its 17th annual “Dine and Donate” and “Taste and Donate” events to help the Empty Bowls campaign on Oct. 19-20.

The event brings together food and beverage purveyors and their customers in support of PHP’s food program, which delivers more than 270,000 pounds of food per year to more than 1,100 individuals in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valleys.

Santa Ynez Valley restaurants and tasting rooms are being asked to donate a portion of their gross proceeds from breakfast, lunch, dinner or tastings to PHP’s food program.

PHP’s Empty Bowls campaign commemorates World Food Day, a day set aside to recognize that there are people throughout the world and even in our own towns who do not have enough to eat.

“I know that it seems inconceivable that in our beautiful region children and their parents go to sleep hungry. Yet, that is in fact the case. Many of our neighbors suffer from food insecurity, not knowing at some time each month where their next meal will come from. Folks that come to PHP to request food include a growing number of seniors living on small fixed incomes and those working in the hospitality and agricultural industries struggling to make ends meet,” said PHP CEO Dean Palius.

Many local working families live on a monthly income of $3,000 per month or less. Often at the end of each month, these people must choose between paying the rent and utilities and buying food for their children, Palius added.

Last year, 16 restaurants and wine tasting rooms participated in the Dine and Donate program, he said.  This year 14 businesses and six tasting rooms have signed on to participate.

Donor restaurants include A-RU Japanese Restaurant, Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, CHOMP, Coffee Cabin, Industrial Eats, Longhorn Coffee Shop, Los Olivos Café & Wine Merchant, Mad & Vin at the Landsby, Pattibakes, Succulent Café, The Hitching Post II, The Vineyard House, Tower Pizza and Viking Garden.

Tasting rooms participating include Frequency Wine Company, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Longoria Wines, Santé Wine Bar & Lounge, Turiya Wines, and Wandering Dog Wine Bar.

Erica Valdes, PHP’s brand and marketing manager, said that this year PHP is hoping to increase much needed funding for the food program from all of the October Empty Bowls fundraising components. PHP also raises funds through a direct mail appeal sent to 4,000 homes.  The mail piece lists the restaurants and tasting rooms participating in the Dine, Taste, and Donate and includes raffle tickets that can be purchased to participate in a drawing for a top prize valued at $1,000.

To obtain more information on PHP’s Empty Bowls Campaign to End Hunger, find an updated list of Dine and Donate participants, or purchase raffle tickets, visit www.syvphp.org/events/empty-bowls.

Business owners or managers who would like to participate in Dine and Donate can call Valdes at 686-0295 or email Erica@syvphp.org.

For more about PHP and its programs, go to www.syvphp.org or call 686-0295.