MCC Empty Bowls events benefit Paz de Cristo Community Center

Fighting hunger one bowl at a time

MESA, Arizona — Oct. 16, 2018 —The community is invited to participate in the Mesa Community College (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.

Wednesday, Oct. 17 -- MCC Southern and Dobson Campus
1833 W. Southern Ave., (Kirk Student Center, Navajo Room)
Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 24 -- MCC 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 performing during Empty Bowls at the MCC Southern and Dobson Campus: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., are 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 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.

“Empty Bowls charity events have always been a successful fundraisers for Paz de Cristo. The Mesa Community College and the Mesa Art Center students work for many months to create bowls for the event. For the past several years, Dobson High ceramics classes have become involved and this year they created 400 bowls,” said Linda Speranza, MCC art faculty.The events that are in support of Empty Bowls get to the heart of the issue, why we need to have a charity event to help feed local people. There is a lot of need across the Valley, and populations of the East Valley have become more in need every year. We hope to create awareness of the need and educate students so they can understand and become involved in empowerment efforts. It is our hope that they can pass on this awareness when they go out into the community.”

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 averaged 7,000 visits per month from those in need of food, clothing and other services,” said Paz de Cristo Director Arlen Westling. “In addition to providing food, 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.

“New this year, we were able to provide additional services through our newly established “Paz de Cristo Navigation Center” to help people navigate through the various resources available for housing, drugs, mental illness or whatever else they need to get stable.”

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 Pita Jungle; Red, White & Brew; Rich Products; Shamrock Foods; T.C. Eggingtons; Trader Joe’s; Laguna Clay Company; Marjon Ceramics; Mesa Arts Center; MCC Art Department; New Frontiers; Dobson High School; Dreamland Villa’s Ceramic Chaos; Golden Vista RV Resort Ceramics Club; Carol Pacey & The Honey Shakers; Ken Feighner; and Grand Canyon University.

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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. 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.

The Maricopa County Community College District 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 16, 2018