MCC Empty Bowls events benefit Paz de Cristo Community Center

Fighting hunger one bowl at a time

MESA, Arizona — Sept. 27 2017 —The community is invited to participate in Mesa Community College’s (MCC) Empty Bowls events at both college campuses in observance of World Food Day. 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.

Wed., Oct. 4 at MCC’s Southern and Dobson Campus
1833 W. Southern Ave., (Kirk Student Center, Navajo Room)
Hours: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 18 at MCC’s Red Mountain Campus
7110 E. McKellips Rd. (Mesquite Building, Community Room)
Hours: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.

Local artists will perform during Empty Bowls at MCC’s Southern and Dobson campus: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Bagpiper Ken Feighner; and Carol Pacey & The Honey Shakers from 5-8 p.m.

For more than two 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 Empty Bowls events directly 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.

"Food insecurity is an issue that sadly affects our community on a day to day basis, where families and individuals have uncertain access to adequate food and nutrition,” said Gingher Leyendecker, MCC Art Faculty. “One hundred percent of the contributions to Empty Bowls goes to Paz de Cristo, an interfaith charity that provides assistance to those in our community struggling with food insecurity and hunger. With continued awareness and action, we hope that this social condition can be eliminated for our students, families, and society."

Last year, the collaboration of MCC students, local businesses and community partners raised more than $16,000 which was used by Paz de Cristo to provide an average of 50,000 meals a month to the disadvantaged in the Phoenix East Valley. Organizers hope to exceed what was raised last year at each campus.

“During this past year, Paz de Cristo served almost 100,000 evening meals and provided over 10,000 food boxes to families in Mesa and the East Valley,” said Paz de Cristo Director Arlen Westling. “In addition, we distributed over 1,000 items of clothing and provided over 3,600 showers to the homeless. We also helped with numerous Arizona I.D. vouchers, birth certificates, bus tickets, diapers, personal care items and hygiene products.

“Above all, we are heartened by our Career Employment Opportunity (CEO) program results. This past year over 300 individuals took advantage of our jobs center to get assistance with resumes, job searches, job leads and one-on-one coaching from our staff and volunteers. Many of these individuals are getting good jobs and most are keeping the jobs they get!”

Special gratitude is extended to the wonderful ceramics students who donate their time and talent and the local organizations that make contributions to help feed the hungry and homeless in our community. This year’s sponsors include: Alpine Bread Company, Pita Jungle, Red, White & Brew, Shamrock Foods, T.C. Eggingtons, Alphagraphics-Mesa Baseline, Carol Pacey & The Honey Shakers, Classic Party Rentals, Dobson High School, Dreamland Villa’s Ceramic Chaos, Golden Vista RV Resort Ceramics Club, Ken Feighner, Laugna Clay Company, Marjon Ceramics, Mesa Arts Center, MCC Art Department, New Frontiers, Northern Arizona University – Mesa Campus, Ricoh, and Standard Restaurant Supply.

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Contact Dawn Zimmer, (480) 461-7892,

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for service-learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college serves as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to 30,000 students annually, MCC offers more than 195 degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. MCC is an emerging Hispanic Serving Institution with a diverse student body that enriches the learning experience. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to compete locally and globally. MCC, located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, is one of the 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information, visit

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017