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5Cities Homeless Coalition's 9th annual 'Empty Bowls' Community Luncheon goes mobile

Mike McNutt at 2019 Empty Bowls CREDIT Vivian Krug Cotton.jpg
Posted at 6:38 PM, Sep 03, 2020

The ninth annual "Empty Bowls" Community Luncheon fundraiser hosted by the 5Cities Homeless Coalition will be mobile this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have had to tweak many aspects of this true community event because of the pandemic, but we are hoping the public will again come out to support our work helping those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness during this pandemic," said Janna Nichols, executive director of 5Cities Homeless Coalition.

For the past eight years of the event, approximately 800 community members would enjoy soup served by local community leaders into bowls donated by students and artists at various restaurants on the central coast.

The fundraiser typically raises around $40,000 for 5Cities Homeless Coalition programs and services, according to a news release sent to KSBY.

In an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, organizers said community members will be able to purchase tickets online at, and are valid on any of three Saturdays and at any of three separate locations throughout the central coast.

Patrons drive to each location and pick up their bowls of soup. A coupon that can be redeemed for one bowl of soup at any of the 21 participating restaurants comes with each bowl, according to the release. Coupons will be valid through the end of the year.

The drive-up locations are open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following Saturdays:

  • September 12 – St. Patrick's Catholic Church (501 Fair Oaks Avenue, Arroyo Grande)
  • September 19 – New Life Community Church (990 James Way, Pismo Beach)
  • September 26 – Trilogy Monarch Activity Center (1645 Trilogy Parkway, Nipomo)

5Cities Homeless Coalition staff said local artisans are busy handcrafting scores of bowls for the fundraiser.

To purchase tickets for the fundraiser or to add your name to the sponsor list, visit the coalition's website here or call (805) 574-1638.