Bringing art and community together

More than $5,000 raised for Hays County Food Bank

By Brittany Anderson

BUDA — Thousands of food insecure Hays County residents will soon be able to enjoy a meal, thanks to a fundraiser that has brought art and the community together to make it happen.

Inspired Minds Art Center (IMAC) in Buda held its annual Empty Bowl fundraiser on Jan. 21 in celebration of the center’s third birthday.

Since 2021, IMAC has partnered with local artists and restaurants to provide handmade bowls and homemade soup for the community to purchase and enjoy, with proceeds from the bowl sales going to the Hays County Food Bank (HCFB).

Thousands of Hays County residents are considered food insecure, and HCFB is the only food bank that serves the entire county. In 2022, every $1 that was donated to the food bank could feed four people in the county. This year, due to inflation, the number of people has dropped to three — highlighting the need for support more than ever.

Across six tables inside the center on Saturday were 250 ceramic bowls at $35 a piece, created and donated by Emily Hohertz, Leah Ireland, Travis Smith, Dee and Terry Buck, David Hendley, Robb McKenzie, Robert and Martina Wiesner, Mary Pound, Mud Studio, the Texas School for the Deaf and IMAC students.

Whether they purchased a bowl in advance or at the door, the community was invited to select a bowl and fill it with hot, homemade soup at the center. Participating restaurants included Amici, Zoi Market and Clay Pit, as well as community members Nancy Keizer with Keizer’s Kitchen and IMAC co-founder Susan Guerra with Guerra Gourmet. BubaLux Bakery and Main Street Baker also provided bread.

Photo by Brittany Anderson
A handful of local restaurants participated in the fundraiser by providing a variety of homemade soups.

This year’s fundraiser garnered $5,200 for the food bank, which will be able to provide 15,600 meals.

For IMAC co-founder Sinéad Whiteside, this fundraiser fulfills the center’s mission of bringing art and community together.

“Giving to the Hays County Food Bank in a creative way is exactly what we want to do,” Whiteside said. “We connect the artists with the restaurants with the rest of the community.”

If you are in need of food assistance or would like to donate or volunteer with the food bank, visit or its Facebook page at

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