MCC Empty Bowls events benefit Paz de Cristo Community Center

Fighting hunger one bowl at a time

MESA, Arizona — Oct. 10, 2019 —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. 16 -- 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.
Local bagpiper Ken Feighner will perform between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 23 -- MCC Red Mountain Campus
7110 E. McKellips Rd. (Mesquite Building, Community Room)
Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.
Carol Pacey & the Honey Shakers will perform 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 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 one that is becoming ever more prevalent among our MCC students, yet it is a 'hidden' plague. It is easy to think that the students in our MCC classrooms are eating and adequately housed, simply by their presence. Yet survey results released in 2017 by the Wisconsin Hope Lab, of 2,665 students in the Maricopa Community Colleges tells a different story," said Linda Speranza, MCC art faculty. “Thirty-Three percent reported being regularly hungry due to lack of money for meals, and 57 percent cannot afford balanced meals and reduce portions out of necessity.

"The Empty Bowl project at MCC was started to raise awareness of food insecurity in our country. I now firmly believe the project, at this point, should be raising our awareness of food insecurity on our MCC campuses. Our students need us to reach out and help them in any way we can. They want an education and we need to support them not only in providing that, but with the resources that will allow them to complete and succeed in the classroom.”

Last year, the collaboration of MCC students, local businesses and community partners raised more than $11,600, 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.

In addition to the meals, Paz de Cristo is recognized as a one-stop service organization that provides showers, AZ I.D.'s, birth certificates, mail service, bathroom facilities, medical services, homeless court and career navigation programs.

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; Shamrock Foods; T.C. Eggingtons; 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,

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

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known 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 more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs online, at its two campuses, the Mesa Downtown Center and additional locations. Through the implementation of Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services, MCC is transforming ways it champions student success; college completion, university transfer and career attainment for all students. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. The diverse student body includes more than 400 international students representing over 60 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training to empower MCC students to compete locally and globally. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, MCC is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Learn more at

Mesa Community College 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: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019