Filling Our Community’s
Empty Bowls

When you arrive at our Empty Bowls event, you will select your own bowl from among the 1000 bowls personally hand-crafted by artisans at The Clay Center of St. Petersburg. Each unique bowl comes in a charming, individually decorated bag created by local school children.

Soup will be provided by these generous local organizations:

Learn More

Filling Our Community’s

Empty Bowls

Your $30 ticket impacts those in our community who need the most help.

Pinellas County faces significant challenges when it comes to food insecurity. According to recent statistics, approximately 13% of the county’s population experiences food insecurity. This translates to over 150,000 individuals who do not have consistent access to enough nutritious food.

Food insecurity has an especially profound impact on children’s health and development. Inadequate nutrition during critical periods of growth can lead to stunted physical and cognitive development, increased risk of chronic diseases, and poor academic performance. These long-term consequences can hinder children’s ability to reach their full potential and perpetuate cycles of poverty.

Food insecurity also affects families and household dynamics. Parents may experience heightened stress and anxiety as they struggle to provide for their children’s basic needs. This stress can strain relationships and impact overall family well-being. Additionally, parents may make sacrifices such as skipping meals or reducing portion sizes to ensure their children have enough to eat, further compromising their own health.

Root Causes of Food Insecurity in Pinellas County


Lack of Access to Healthy Food

21.4% of the population lives in food deserts

Low Income

11.5% of the population lives below the poverty line

High Cost of Living

Tampa Bay’s Cost of Living Index is higher than the national average

Health Issues

10.6% of the population faces food insecurity,  causing many chronic health conditions

Mission Daystar:

Ending Food Insecurity


Our year-round services include these hunger relief programs:

Healthy Food Pantry: Our healthy food pantry is client-choice and focuses on increasing healthy choices.

Edible Garden: Daystar volunteers harvest our edible garden on Wednesday, and provide produce directly to clients at our center every Thursday morning.

Assistance and Authentication for Federal Relief Programs: Daystar offers assistance and authentication for programs such as WIC, SNAP (Food Stamps), and TEFAP (USDA Emergency Food).

Pet Food Assistance: Food and pet care items for cats and dogs, including cat litter, collars, leashes, and shampoo, are available upon request once every 30 days.

We are Incredibly Grateful for Our 2024 Empty Bowls Sponsors

Thank You

Without our sponsors, this wonderful event would not be possible. We are blessed to be supported by generous, caring individuals and businesses who advocate for our mission of ending food insecurity.

Champion Sponsor

  • The Clay Center of St. Petersburg
  • Rosemary McDowell
  • A Friend of Daystar
 Leader Sponsors
  • Pinellas County Primary Care
  • Jay and Anne Ghosh
  • Pauline Higgins
  • Linda Lerner
  • Vedanta Center of St. Petersburg

Advocate Sponsors

  • St. Petersburg Midtown Rotary
  • Lynda Jollay
  • Dr. Jacqueline Dawson
  • James Ottinger
  • EMW Laser
  • Youth Development Foundation
  • St. Anthony’s Hospital
  • Grand Central Brewhouse

Day “Star” Sponsors

  • Linda Marcelli
  • Mary Anne Putman
  • Cornell Financial

Working Together

To Help Our Neighbors

Community engagement in events like Empty Bowls is crucial in addressing food insecurity effectively. Local residents have firsthand knowledge of the challenges they face and can provide valuable insights into potential solutions. Engaging community members in decision-making processes ensures that interventions are culturally appropriate, sustainable, and responsive to the unique needs of the community.

Successful community-led initiatives in Pinellas County, like Daystar Life Center, demonstrate the power of collective action. Community gardens, food cooperatives, and neighborhood meal programs are just a few examples of how residents are taking ownership of addressing food insecurity. These initiatives not only provide immediate relief but also foster a sense of empowerment and resilience within the community.

Kudos From Car Credit

Daystar Life Center was recently chosen as a Strategic Partner by Nuevo en US (, a nonprofit dedicated to helping immigrants and the charities that offer assistance. The partnership grant is fully funded by Car Credit ( Car Credit owner, Steve Cuculich, grew up in a low-income immigrant Chicago neighborhood. He has not forgotten his childhood poverty and continues to support organizations that offer a hand up to those in need. Cuculich acknowledges that while there have been successes in addressing food insecurity, challenges remain. “Our hope is to help develop sustainable solutions, encouraging continued collaboration between government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the community.”

© 2024 Daystar Life Center, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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Daystar Life Center is funded primarily by donations from individuals, businesses, churches and civic groups in the community.  We could not help our neighbors in need without your financial support.  You have a right to know that we will not trade, share, or sell a donor’s personal information with anyone else,  nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations.  This policy applies to online and offline donations.

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USDA Non-Discrimination Statement : This institution is an equal opportunity provider.  Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.