To celebrate its second anniversary, Inspired Minds Art Center in downtown Buda hosted an Empty Bowl Fundraiser on Jan. 22 with all proceeds donated to the Hays County Food Bank, located at 220 Herndon St., San Marcos.

Empty bowl fundraisers are organized by local businesses or organizations to raise money for food charities and banks to help fight food insecurity within their communities or globally.

Local artists created and donated more than 200 ceramic bowls for the cause that were then bought by members of the community.

Los Olivos Market, Mud Bugs a Cajun Joint, Helen’s Casa Alde, Amici, Hays City Store & Ice House and Zoi Market donated soup, bread and other food items to those who purchased a bowl.

The idea is for that bowl to be “a reminder of all the people that are hungry in the world,” according to the official Empty Bowl organization website.

Sinead Whiteside and Susan Guerra founded Inspired Minds Art Center to create a sense of community in the area and be a resource to fellow artists. They now provide classes in various mediums, host events for the community and offer support to artists.

“It’s so amazing to see the community come out for this. This is such a great fundraiser; everybody wants to do it; and they love picking their bowls. ... And then every time you use that bowl, you know that you’ve done good,” Whiteside said.

Whiteside and Guerra were able to raise $4,500 for the Hays County Food Bank and presented the check Feb. 16.

"The Hays County Food Bank is thrilled to have the support of the Inspired Minds Art Center," Community Relations Coordinator Iris Tate said. "This year's fundraiser gave the opportunity to highlight local artists and restaurants while raising enough funds to provide 18,000 meals for our neighbors in need."

Guerra, Whiteside and Tate said they hope the Empty Bowl Fundraiser can continue to grow and serve more people in the future.