Empty Bowls events, benefitting Paz de Cristo Community Center, return to MCC

Fighting hunger one bowl at a time

MESA, Arizona — October 26, 2022 — The community is invited to the Mesa Community College (MCC) Empty Bowls events to help combat food insecurity. According to the Arizona Food Bank Network, one in nine Arizonans struggle with limited or uncertain access to healthy, safe and nutritious foods. For a $10 donation, patrons may select a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted ceramic bowl and receive a modest, yet delicious meal of soup and bread donated by local restaurants.

Wednesday, Nov. 2 -- MCC Red Mountain Campus
7110 E. McKellips Rd. (Saguaro Building)
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 -- MCC Southern and Dobson Campus
1833 W. Southern Ave., (Kirk Student Center, Navajo Room)
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

For nearly three decades, MCC’s Art Department, in collaboration with local businesses, schools and community groups, has offered Empty Bowls as a way to garner support for a national movement to feed the hungry and homeless. All proceeds from MCC events benefit those served by Paz de Cristo Community Center, the nonprofit providing anti-hunger and empowerment support for the East Valley's homeless, unemployed, working poor and their families.

“The issue of food insecurity is becoming ever more prevalent among our students, too,” said Art Professor Alecia Zirignon. "According to a recent report by the Wisconsin Hope Lab, 42 percent of college students were food insecure, 46 percent were housing insecure and 12 percent were homeless."

“Empty Bowls at MCC was started by Faculty Emeritus Linda Speranza who cares deeply for the community, and has always emphasized how critical food security is to a healthy, functioning community,” said Zirignon. “Linda raised awareness of food insecurity in our country and continued for decades to raise awareness of food insecurity on MCC campuses and surrounding communities.” She added, “Our students want an education and we need to provide the resources necessary for them to complete and succeed in the classroom. This year we’ve added a donation area where patrons may drop off nonperishable and personal hygiene items for the Mesa Market, the on-campus food pantry.”

“Since 2010 MCC Empty Bowls events have raised more than $135,000 in support of our community,” said Jackie Shelley, executive director, Paz de Cristo Community Center. “It really is a win-win, when taking into account the astonishing bowls that are created by participating local artists and the direct impact the donations have on the lives of so many in our community.”

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

Click here to learn about Empty Bowls events at other Maricopa Community Colleges.

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, 480-461-7892, dawn.zimmer@mesacc.edu

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 pazdecristo.org.

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. 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. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The 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 mesacc.edu to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) -- hlcommission.org.

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 maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, October 26, 2022