Campus Kitchen raises $10,000 for local food insecurity with annual soup event

The eighth annual Souper Bowl broke its fundraising record


Praise Apata, ’23, serves tomato bisque in Evans Dining Hall during Souper Bowl. Photo by Mary Alice Russell.

Maggie Hawley

Thanks to a large crowd of soup lovers, the eighth year of Campus Kitchen’s Souper Bowl was its most successful event yet.

Campus Kitchen will use the $10,000 raised on January 26 to benefit more than 750 Rockbridge area elementary school students who receive ready-to-go meals for the weekend.

Ryan Brink, ‘18, a recent graduate who now serves as the Campus Kitchen coordinator, said he loves the Souper Bowl because of the way it builds community.

“There aren’t very many events that will draw the entire community together quite like this one,” Brink said. “Students are a minority of the people that we sell tickets to for this event. It’s mostly community members [from the Rockbridge Area] coming onto campus and interacting with student groups. It’s a strange and unique coalescing of different people around the county.”

The Souper Bowl was held in Evans Dining Hall and featured recipes from downtown restaurants, campus dining and fraternities and sororities.

Greek organizations participated in the Golden Ladle contest, a competition voted on by Souper Bowl attendees to decide which fraternity or sorority makes the best soup.

Pi Beta Phi sorority’s cookies and cream soup took first place. All eleven gallons of soup were gone by 12:45 p.m., not even halfway through the event.

Student a capella groups provided live music for the event’s entertainment. General Admission performed “American Boy” by Estelle and Kanye West, followed shortly by a rendition of Stevie Wonder and other classics.

Ryann Carpenter, ‘20, named Souper Bowl Chair in May 2019. She said some of her duties included “contacting businesses about their participation in the event and meeting with W&L faculty to ensure the event includes only compostable items.”

Carpenter worked alongside Brink to organize and supervise the event.

“The Souper Bowl took many hours and lots of manpower to pull off,” Carpenter said. “But knowing that our hard work will benefit so many amazing children in the Lexington and Rockbridge area makes all of our efforts worth it.”