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Monday, December 5, 2022
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Empty Bowls Event

Purchase some beautiful, hand-made art and help minimize food waste in Arizona with this awesome event! “Empty Bowls” will be hosted at a gorgeous outdoor venue with live music. “Empty Bowls” will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Arizona Center in Downtown Phoenix (455 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004).

This much-anticipated fundraiser is hosted every October in support of the non-profit “Waste Not”. “Waste Not” helps to minimize food waste in Arizona by “rescuing perishable food from food businesses” and transporting it to agencies around the Valley that help to feed the hungry. The fundraiser features a collection of artisan bowls donated by members of the Arizona Clay Association. The empty bowls on display give voice to the over one million Arizonans who struggle with food insecurities and are sold at the amazing price of only $20 (which includes lunch from Salad and Go!).

All revenue from the pottery sold will be donated to “Waste Not”. As Arizona is the largest producer of food waste in the United States, “Waste Not”’s mission is all the more important.

According to Lori Calhoun, the communications and engagement manager for “Waste Not”, “Last fiscal year Waste Not rescued more than 2,300,000 pounds of perishable food from food businesses”. Had that food been sent to the landfill instead of rescued, it would have emitted tons of CO2eq into the environment, contributing to the climate crisis we are already facing.

Food waste is an ever-growing issue in Arizona. The first step in reducing it throughout the valley is understanding where food waste originates. According to executive director of “Waste Not”, Hillary Bryant, “28% of food waste comes from consumer-facing businesses, and 50% of that is from full/limited-service restaurants and catering”. Because of Arizona’s prominence in the tourism and event space, food waste grows worse, as demand leads food businesses to overproduce.

Some initiatives currently executed by “Waste Not” to reduce food waste include a partnership with “NFL Green” to gather all expected food waste from this year’s Super Bowl. Similarly, Bryant described how they are “work[ing] with Waste Management to get all the food from the Phoenix Open”.

With every $20 purchase at the event, “Waste Not” can provide 100 meals to those in need. Come out and show your support for “Waste Not” and the community!


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