Annual tradition unites the community to fight hunger

MESA, Arizona — October 31, 2023 —Mesa Community College (MCC) invites the community to its annual Empty Bowls events. For a $10 donation, patrons receive a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted ceramic bowl along with a meal of soup and bread. There will also be a silent auction featuring ceramics by some of the Valley’s most talented artists.

Wednesday, Nov. 8 -- MCC Red Mountain Campus
7110 E. McKellips Rd. (Saguaro Building)Three colorful bowls stacked on top of each other.Bowls created by MCC ceramics students and faculty. Photo credit: Tonissa Saul
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 15 -- MCC Southern and Dobson Campus
1833 W. Southern Ave., (Kirk Student Center, Navajo Room)
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

“For more than 30 years, MCC’s Art Department has worked with local artists, organizations and businesses to raise more than $140,000 throughout the years,” said Angel Luna, MCC ceramics faculty. “All of the proceeds benefit Paz De Cristo Community Center, which not only provides meals to the community, but so much more to uplift residents.”

MCC alumnus Vicente Ortiz, Paz De Cristo’s food services and programs coordinator, says he learned of Paz De Cristo while attending MCC and believes strongly in its mission and the immense impact it has on the homeless and working poor.

“The proceeds from Empty Bowls will help every function of Paz de Cristo,” says Ortiz. “From our empowerment programs to the nightly meals, we pride ourselves on the ingredients, love and culture we put in our made from scratch meals for the 13,000+ individuals and families we serve annually. Last year, we served almost 90,000 meals. We haven’t missed serving a meal since our inception in 1988, a dinner every night 365 days a year!”

The Mesa Market, MCC’s on-campus food pantry, is also collecting donations of nonperishable food and hygiene items for MCC students in need.

Gratitude is extended to the artists, organizations and businesses who donate their time and talent to help feed the hungry and homeless in our community. This year’s sponsors include Laguna Clay, Mesa Arts Center, MCC Art Department, New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning, Pita Jungle, Red White & Brew, Dobson High School and Desert Ridge High School.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892,

Since 1988, Paz de Cristo has been a place of peace and hope for people struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness. Last year, we served more than 16,000 men, women, children, veterans, and seniors with a wide range of supportive services from a hot meal every evening to food boxes, showers, clothing, job search assistance, bus passes, Arizona identification, mail service and much more. Generous donors and volunteers fuel our mission to Feed, Clothe and Empower the homeless and working poor in the Phoenix East Valley. Find out more about us at

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. Host to more than 24,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. MCC is transforming student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. Nearly 50% of MCC students are the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The American Indian Institute serves students from 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes and out-of-state tribes. Our diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Tuesday, October 31, 2023