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Food bank fills ‘empty bowls’

Placer Food Bank hosts fundraiser to keep pace with demand for food assistance
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Since 2007, the number of individuals Placer Food Bank serves has grown 168 percent.

They reached a record level of assisting nearly 500,000 people in 2010. That’s a staggering number for the Roseville-based food bank, which has experienced an overwhelming increase in the need for services.

Placer Food Bank is holding an Empty Bowls fundraiser May 3 and 4 — the first of its kind for the nonprofit organization. The idea is modeled after the nationwide movement to raise hunger awareness and funds by hosting a simple meal.

The empty bowls, which are donated by local artists, symbolize those people who do not have enough to eat.

“There is no question that more people than ever rely on their local food bank to provide supplemental and emergency food,” said Executive Director Dave Martinez, in a press release. “Unfortunately, while the need has grown, donations and other sources of funding have not kept pace. Currently, the need has outpaced our ability to fund it.”

Empty Bowls will help raise the funds needed to keep pace with the local demand for food assistance.

Placer Food Bank expects to serve about 400 guests over the two-day event. Guests will be able to select and take home one of the bowls on display.

The organization has collected handcrafted bowls from a variety of donors, including students and faculty from the Sierra College Art Department. Technology Specialist Anthony Maki Gill said six students and staff members created “dozens” of bowls for the fundraiser.

“We are our communities’ college and part of our educational mission is to ‘serve our community,’” Gill said. “The creation of hand-built objects is a learning opportunity for our students that connects their learning in tangible ways to a broader mission of service. Raising awareness of, and helping to eliminate, hunger in our local communities is about as basic as community service gets.”

~ Sena Christian

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Placer Food Bank Empty Bowls fundraiser

When: Wine reception and simple supper 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 3. Luncheon seating No. 1 at 12:30-1:30 p.m. and seating No. 2 at 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4.

Where: Rocklin Event Center, 4750 Grove St. in Rocklin

Cost: $25 for luncheon, $50 for wine reception and simple supper. Tickets include a handcrafted ceramic bowl created by local artists and friends of Placer Food Bank, and a simple meal of pasta, bread, salad and dessert. Supper tickets also include wine tasting, appetizers and live music.

Info: Tickets are available at www.placerfoodbank.org or call (916) 783-0481.

Donate/Sponsor: Placer Food Bank is still seeking event sponsors and ceramic bowl donations. Contact Mary at (916) 234-3124.