Buddhist church food bazaar is back in-person

The 69th annual Reedley Buddhist Church Food Bazaar is accepting dinner orders through mid-October for its first in-person bazaar since the COVID-19 pandemic

Reedley Buddhist Church, from the planter along the building front. (Kenny Goodman)
Reedley Buddhist Church, from the planter along the building front. (Kenny Goodman)
Serena Bettis
Published October 3, 2023  • 
3:00 pm

REEDLEY – Anyone in the community is welcome to join the Reedley Buddhist Church in its annual fundraising dinner, known as the food bazaar, coming up next month. 

The 69th annual Reedley Buddhist Church Food Bazaar will return to its pre-COVID-19 pandemic format on Nov. 5. Attendees can pre-order a full dinner meal to enjoy at the bazaar or purchase snacks and baked goods while at the event. 

“The food bazaar has been a major fundraiser for the church for 69 years,” Lynn Kurumaji, a church member and publicity chairperson on the food bazaar committee, said in a statement to the Mid Valley Times. 

For the last two years since the pandemic began, the church has been doing a “drive-thru” bazaar, where participants could order a meal and pick it up to enjoy at home. While participants will still have to pre-order the main meal, they can now join in with other bazaar-goers and also interact with a country store and pastry booth that will be set up at the event. 

The boxed dinner menu has remained the same for many years, Kurumaji said, and the chow mein dish is typically quite popular. The meal includes chicken teriyaki, chow mein, namasu, rice, edamame and an almond cookie. 

“The boxed dinners are pre-sold; we may have a few extras, but it will be wiser to pre-buy,” Kurumaji said. 

A boxed dinner must be ordered ahead of the food bazaar, by Oct. 14 at the latest. Order forms are available to download on the church’s website at reedleybc.org, and payment is accepted by checks made out to Reedley Buddhist Church. Each dinner costs $19. 

At the event, participants will be able to purchase pastries, sushi boxes and homemade goods available through the country store. The country store and pastry booth are looking for donations of baked goods, handmade items and other homemade goods like jams, jellies and trail mix. 

The Junior Youth Buddhist Association (YBA), Reedley Dharma School and Reedley Buddhist Women’s Association (BWA) are putting on the country store and pastry booth. 

Kurumaji said that as the older generation slowly leaves the church, they “are fortunate that some young families have entered the picture and are recharging the Dharma school with new students.”

“As with any religion, there is always change,” Kurumaji said. “Hopefully for our membership it is a positive change for the future. Our ministers are very open and eager to share the Buddhist teachings with anyone interested.”

The bazaar will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Reedley Buddhist Church, located at 2035 15th St. in Reedley.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter