Local restaurants dish out soup in effort to combat child hunger

Laura Wang

In the spirit of the 2016 Super Bowl, approaching this Sunday, W&L’s Campus Kitchen hosted its 4th annual Souper Bowl in Evans Dinning Hall on Jan. 31.

For $10, both W&L students and the Lexington community were invited to taste a variety of soups from participating Lexington restaurants. All 12 restaurants present for last year’s returned with their soups this year, and an additional six restaurants joined the mix as well.

“It’s a good mix with campus and community, I believe a lot of local people will excited to come and support,” Jennifer Davidson, the co-curricular service coordinator of Campus Kitchen, said. “It’s one of the few events allow campus and community to mingle.”

Although the amount of money raised is yet to be confirmed, the goal for the 2016 Souper Bowl was to raise at least $8,000, enough to fund around 700 students each week for 30 weeks out of the year.

Proceeds from this event support the Backpack Program, which seeks to decrease hunger among children. It provides these 700 children with a bag of non-perishable food items to take home with them for the weekend.

Campus Kitchen began a partnership with the Backpack Program in 2009 and has since expanded to include all elementary schools in the area, Head Start programs and, most recently, local preschools.

For local restaurants, the Souper Bowl is oftentimes a good way to communicate with the community.

“As we get more people talking about the Souper Bowl in the community, more people are expecting it, local restaurants are more willing to join,” Brooke Peccie, ‘17, student organizer for the Souper Bowl, said.

The Palms was one of these restaurants that participated for the first time this year.

“We hope we can do it again next year,” an employee from The Palms, serving the restaurant’s soup selection, said. “We have been trying to get to know the community well, and joining the Souper Bowl reminds us that being in a community event is the best way to get involved.”

The event also featured entertainment from Washington and Lee’s a cappella groups General Admission, JubiLee and Southern Comfort.

“I love how Campus Kitchens invited GA, Jubilee, and Southern Comfort to sing at such a wonderful event,” Shan Jiang, ‘16, the music director of General Admission, said. “It’s a great opportunity to show off not only the talents of W&L but also wonderful foods from the Lexington community. It’s a great mix music, food, and fun.”

Aside from getting to taste many different soups, students enjoyed getting the chance to hear their peers in a cappella groups perform.

“I think accapella performances are nice showcases for people in Lexington community to see talented students in W&L,” Elizabeth Mugo, ‘19, said.

W&L students were excited to see so many people in the community come to the Souper Bowl and help with the Backpack program.

“It’s such a great community event”, Yishu Liu, ‘16, said. “I saw some kids helping with [clean up], that’s impressive.”