Pita Jungle raises more than $7K for Waste Not

Pita Jungle participated in an Empty Bowls event during December 2016, raising  $7,515 for the Scottsdale-based Waste Not nonprofit organization. (submitted photo)

For the third consecutive year, Pita Jungle hosted its Empty Bowls event during December 2016 and raised $7,515 for the Scottsdale-based nonprofit organization Waste Not.

Waste Not helps fight local hunger by rescuing excess perishable food that would normally got to waste and delivering it to a network of more than 100 agencies and organizations that feed the hungry, according to a press release.

Empty Bowls is an event where Pita Jungle guests can purchase hand-crafted clay bowls and all proceeds go to Waste Not. All 15 Valley Pit Jungle locations participated in the fundraiser, a release states.

“It is a pleasure to play a part in the local Empty Bowls movement each year and continue our support of Waste Not, whose work is near and dear to our hearts,” Bassel Osmani, co-founder and co-owner of Pita Jungle, said in a release.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to not only help educate our communities about hunger in our Valley, but also involve our guests in Waste Not’s mission to daily serve the need. In addition, we love being able to support local artisans at the same time.”

Each bowl was crafted by Arizona Clay Association artists and went for $15. Those who bought a bowl also received either a small order of hummus or a serving of soup.

According to a release, every dollar donated to Waste Not can feed up to six people.

For several years, the Pita Jungle location in Mesa participated in an Empty Bowls event at Mesa Community College and the rest of the company followed suit in December 2014.

Pita Jungle joined forces with the Arizona Clay Association and during that first year, the two raised $3,150 in the first six days. As the years have gone on, the amount of bowls created continued to increase and now the event lasts for two weeks.

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