Staff Report

Participating local restaurants and tasting rooms will donate a portion of their proceeds to help fill “Empty Bowls’ on Oct. 18-19 when People Helping People holds its 18th annual “Dine, Taste and Donate” event.

Money raised will support PHP’s food program, which delivers more than 230,000 pounds of food each year to feed nearly 1,100 people in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos valleys.

Participating Santa Ynez Valley restaurants will be donating a portion of their gross proceeds from breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner on Thursday, Oct. 18, and tasting rooms will be donating on Friday, Oct. 19. These dates were selected because World Food Day is celebrated on Oct. 16.

World Food Day is a day to recognize that there are people throughout the world and in our home towns that do not have enough to eat. It recognizes the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

“I know that it seems inconceivable that in our beautiful and wealthy region, children and their parents go to sleep hungry,” said Dean Palius, PHP’s CEO. “Yet, that is in fact the case with county statistics showing that one in five individuals, including many of our neighbors, suffer from food insecurity — not knowing at some time each month where their next meal will come from.

“Folks that come to PHP to request food are a growing number of seniors living on small fixed incomes and those working in the hospitality and agricultural industries struggling to make ends meet,” he added. “Typically, these families try to get by on a monthly income of $3,000 per month or less. Often at the end of each month, these people must choose between paying the rent and utilities or buying food for their children.”

Palius noted that 18 restaurants and five tasting rooms will participate this year.

The restaurants include A-RU Japanese Restaurant, Baker’s Table, Ballard Inn & Gathering Table, Bear and Star, Chomp, Coffee Cabin, Doggy Door, First & Oak, Hill Haven Provisions, Industrial Eats, Leonardo Cucina Italiana, Longhorn Coffee Shop, Los Olivos Café & Wine Merchant, Mad & Vin at the Landsby, Succulent Café, Tower Pizza, Trattoria Grappolo, and Viking Garden Restaurant.

The tasting rooms participating are Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company in Los Olivos, Hilliard Bruce, Longoria Wines, Santé Wine Bar & Lounge, and Wandering Dog Wine Bar.

Erica Valdes, PHP’s brand and marketing manager, said PHP is hoping to increase much needed funding for the food program from all of the October Empty Bowls fundraising components, which include a direct mail appeal sent to 4,000 homes this month.

For more information regarding PHP’s Empty Bowls Campaign to End Hunger, find an updated list of Dine, Taste, and Donate participants, or purchase raffle tickets, visit

To read more about PHP and its food and other programs: or call 805-686-0295.