South Texas Food Banks XIII Empty Bowls Return to Sames Auto Arena Friday

The South Texas Food Bank’s flagship event, Empty Bowls, is set to return after being on hiatus for two years due to the pandemic.

Empty Bowls XIII will combine music, art and also charity to help some of the most vulnerable in the community by bringing food to the table. It returns to Sames Auto Arena on Friday, August 12 at 8 p.m. and will feature iconic Chicano-Mexican rock band Los Lobos, multiple Grammy winners famous for their rendition of songs like “La Bamba” and “Son of the country”.

This year’s event is the first time it has featured a titular sponsor, which will be HEB. This allowed the food bank to be able to book and bring Los Lobos to Laredo and have the ability to hold the event in the arena.

“We are so excited to be back with an amazing title sponsor like HEB and an equally amazing band, Los Lobos,” said South Texas Food Bank Chairman John R. Solis. . “Thank you HEB for making this possible and for continuing to support the food bank and its mission.”

Los Lobos’ arrival at the event is also a first for the food bank, as it is the first time a Hispanic group will headline the event.

“We are very pleased to bring such a legendary group to Laredo,” said Angie Osterman, Senior Marketing Specialist and Regional Liaison for the STFB. “It was hard not having this event for the last two years because of the pandemic because it was hard to fundraise and it was also hard not being able to interact and then work with our sponsors. So to be able to bring back this traditional fundraising event is very exciting. »

According to Osterman, in addition to hoping the community has a fun night filled with music, she says the main purpose of the event is to raise funds, as all proceeds raised will be used for their food bank expenses. These go to food acquisition and operating costs as well as food freight and transport, as the cost of transporting goods has increased significantly due to fuel prices.

“We now absolutely have to budget for fuel and our trucks when we go out to buy food or when we have to go deliver food to our pantries and go out to do distributions,” Osterman said. “Now we certainly have to budget more for that, so when we buy food and have to pay freight for delivery, obviously the increase also affects that price.”

Food prices have also increased enormously, according to Osterman. The marketer says this is a problem as the need for items from pantries is increasing everywhere.

“The need is definitely increasing because our pantries are reporting such a high demand for more food and more food safety programs, so there is a need because the demand has increased,” Osterman said. “We really don’t expect it to go down anytime soon due to continued inflation and possibly recession. It’s definitely going to make things worse for us and for all food banks across the country. The need is more bigger than ever before.

Osterman said the food security issue is currently reaching “pandemic levels in our country.”

The event is also important for celebrating the arts, especially local artists. Although the silent food bank auction is not taking place this year to ensure people do not congregate in a small area as they continue to practice social distancing, works by local artists Arturo Nochebuena and former LMT chief photographer Cuate Santos will be featured. Osterman calls the two artists some of the staunchest supporters of the cause.

“We are truly honored that they believe in what we do and will always contribute to our mission in the way they know how to do best in the arts,” Osterman said.

Osterman invites the community to come out on Friday and help support one of their local food banks while having fun and listening to one of the most important backs at the start of the Chicano movement years ago.

“We really want to invite the community to come out and first of all come and have a good time at this event because it’s not only for a great cause, but it’s also such a great group. This is their first time in Laredo,” Osterman said. “They’re a legendary Chicano-rock band, but they’re so diverse in their music and they play all kinds of styles, from rock and western to tejano and country and bluegrass and blues. Everyone who goes there will enjoy it, as there is a little bit of everything for everyone. It’s such a dynamic group, especially for the price of tickets.

Their signature sound is a rich mix of rock-and-roll, R&B, surf music, soul, mariachi, música norteña, punk rock, western and country. Their repertoire includes songs in English, Spanish and Spanglish.

Internationally recognized and acclaimed, East Los Angeles-based band Los Lobos have won numerous awards over the years. Their list of recognitions includes induction into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame, recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts and four Grammy Awards, including this year’s award for Best American Album for “Native Sons.”

Tickets to attend the Empty Food Bowl are only $25 and can be purchased by contacting the South Texas Food Bank and Sames Auto Arena.

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