Each year, Scottsdale Community College hosts the Alli Ortega Empty Bowls fundraiser sponsored by Scottsdale Community Partners with 100% of proceeds going to the Vista del Camino Food Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona. This special Scottsdale Empty Bowls fundraiser is integral in battling the issue of hunger in our community.
Empty Bowls to Fight Hunger
In 1990, Michigan art teachers Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom wanted to find a way to promote students’ ceramics creativity with proceeds of the event going to a local food pantry. Attendees contribute by purchasing an artist’s handmade bowl which represents those that go hungry each day. Meals are provided and guests celebrate making a difference in their community.
From this idea, Empty Bowls was launched with each respective community throughout the country donating to their local food pantry or hunger prevention organization with the goal of fighting hunger in their area.
Alli Ortega and Her Inspiration
In 1989, Alli Ortega began volunteering at the Paiute Center in Scottsdale, touching the hearts and lives of everyone she encountered. A Scottsdale resident, Alexandra “Alli” Ortega was born in 1983 and attended local schools as well as the University of Arizona and graduated from there in 2005 when she became the Paiute Center’s recreation leader.
As each youth she mentored accomplished an educational or life goal, Alli honored them by displaying their picture on her office walls. Her inspiration to many focused on education as an important step to a fruitful life.
In April of 2014, at the age of 31, Ortega passed away unexpectedly due to complications from a surgery. Her kind heart and giving nature are honored every year through the Alli Ortega Scottsdale Empty Bowls fundraiser.
Fight Hunger in Scottsdale
According to Feed America, one in every six people in Arizona battles hunger on a daily basis. Specifically, WasteNot Arizona states that 24.2% of Maricopa county children under the age of 18 don’t have access to enough food. This startling statistic relates to one in every five children in Maricopa County going to bed hungry every night.
The Alli Ortega Scottsdale Empty Bowls fundraiser is another of these special programs held to keep our neighbors in need fed through the difficult times they may be going through. Scottsdale Community College culinary arts students carefully prepare a hot meal for the purchasers of the handcrafted bowls which are made by local youth and artisans. All proceeds are then donated to Vista del Camino Food Bank with the intention of preventing any community member from going hungry another day.
Hunger in our beautiful city of Scottsdale can end with the important partnerships in our community and through the generosity of you.