Becky Thomas and Zina Brown enjoyed a free brunch at Sabaku Sushi on Sunday, Jan. 11. WabiSabi is sponsoring the free or by-donation meals every Sunday through Feb. 11. [Photo by Kaylan Young / Moab Sun News]

If you’re not too busy on Sundays, there’s a place to get out of the chilly Moab air that also has some really yummy food.

WabiSabi is serving free or by-donation brunches every Sunday through Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Sabaku Sushi, 90 E Center St.

The event, which is sponsored by WabiSabi’s Winter Meals Program, has provided more than 10,000 meals to the people of Moab over the years.

Seekhaven and EkletiCafe began the brunches in 2005 in an effort to serve warm meals to the community during the cold winter months. WabiSabi took over the following winter, and the brunches have been a community tradition ever since.

“The Sunday brunches were created to help locals through the lean Moab winters when much of our workforce is laid off or on reduced hours because of the seasonal nature of our economy,” WabiSabi South Manager/ Winter Meals Coordinator Holly Dinsmore said. “And it’s not just about the warm meal – it’s also a chance to feel the warmth of community while the sun is low and the days are colder.”

“It has everything a great restaurant has, except it’s free,” customer Hannah Boone said. “Going out for Sunday brunch is so nice, but it’s the last thing I can do on my budget right now. I can’t believe I get to go to this five times – it’s a great way to get out and see people on a Sunday throughout the winter, and the food is amazing.”

This season, WabiSabi has the help of Chef Kaye Davis for each of the brunches. Davis prepared WabiSabi’s 2014 Thanksgiving Dinner, and she said she’s excited to take on the challenge of the Sunday brunches.

With her background in locally sourced and nutritious foods, Davis is prepared to bring regional produce to the WabiSabi table. With the help of WabiSabi’s AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Alexandra Yesian, she has been collecting and preserving food since last July.

“Because Kaye and I have mutual interest in local food systems, we were happy to spend the hours freezing and canning fresh produce for the brunches. It feels like a real community effort, knowing that we are serving local food to local residents,” Yesian said. “The freezers we are using to store the food were also donated by community members … We’ve had a lot of local support to help bring our farm-to-table vision to life.”

Breakfast fare this year includes pancakes with berry sauce, breakfast enchiladas and homemade granola. Customers can also sip lattes and Americanos made by volunteer barista, Charlie Bruce, while waiting for their plates to arrive. The newest menu will also feature vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Sabaku, which donated the use of its facilities each Sunday, will be otherwise closed through the last brunch on Feb. 8.

“Just to be clear, there’s no sushi being served for brunch,” WabiSabi Program Director Mandy Turner said. “We’ll leave that to the pros at Sabaku.”

As always, WabiSabi said that community involvement is vital to the success of the brunches. Organizers said it would not be possible without the wonderful volunteers, Sabaku Sushi and Chef Davis.

Financial contributions are welcome and may be mailed to WabiSabi, 1030 S. Bowling Alley Lane, Moab UT 84532. Gift certificates to local grocery stores for last-minute food costs are always appreciated.

WabiSabi is unable to accept food donations from individuals, since everything served must be prepared in a commercial kitchen.

WabiSabi is always looking for volunteers for this and other efforts. For more information, call Nara Bopp-Williams at 435-259-2553.

Public invited to weekly meals at Sabaku through Feb. 8

“It has everything a great restaurant has, except it’s free … I can’t believe I get to go to this five times – it’s a great way to get out and see people on a Sunday throughout the winter, and the food is amazing.”

When: Every Sunday through Feb. 8, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Sabaku Sushi, 90 E. Center St.

Cost: Free; donations are also welcome