To address hunger and malnutrition in the Santa Maria Valley, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County held its 17th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls fundraiser Oct. 24 — just over a week after the organization lost a box truck worth $120,000 in a highway crash.

The event, which had two seatings, was held at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St. Empty Bowls is the only annual Foodbank fundraising event held in Santa Maria. For $25, attendees select a hand-crafted ceramic bowl, enjoy a meal of gourmet soup and bread and take the bowl home as a reminder that the purpose of the event is to secure food for hungry people in the community. The handcrafted bowls are donated by local artists and ceramics students from Hancock College.

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