Show you care this ‘Souper Bowl’


Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 3:25 p.m.

On Super Bowl Sunday, not only can you watch the New England Patriots and the New York Giants face off on the football field, you also can help feed homeless and needy people in the community during the 2008 Souper Bowl of Caring.

This Sunday, communities across the nation will collect cans of soup and bowls to help feed the homeless and the needy. In Gainesville, churches and their congregations are being asked to bring plastic bowls, cans of soups or monetary donations to their morning worship services, where the items will be taken to agencies that feed the hungry and the homeless in Alachua County.

“Just like the Patriots and the Giants are super heroes, we can be super heroes by helping the needy on this day and every day,” said Dr. Karen Cole-Smith, director of the Santa Fe Community College Outreach and the East Gainesville Initiative.

At the conclusion of morning worship services, Cole-Smith said a designated church member should take the soup, the bowls and the donations to agencies that feed the hungry, such as the St. Francis House and Soup Kitchen, Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, and the Christ United Methodist Mission Hunger Program, which is coordinated by Pastor Don Denton.

Denton said at his mission site, families have an average income of $468 a month, and yet they bring cans of soups and bowls to feed other needy people.

Anderson of Upper Room said he is promoting the Souper Bowl on his radio show on Magic 101.3 FM and Gospel 1430 AM by holding a soup drive, whereby people can call his show to pledge cans of soups and plastic bowls. The church with the most pledges will win an opportunity to advertise for free on the Magic 101.3 van.

The Rev. George Dix, pastor of Passage Family Church, said his church will receive hundreds of bowls and cans of soup, which will be delivered to organizations that feed the hungry, such as the St. Frances House. He said the Souper Bowl is an extension of what they’re already doing to feed the hungry.

Formed in 1990, the Souper Bowl of Caring, a grassroots, faith-based crusade against hunger and poverty in the U.S, has raised more than $33 million for charities nationwide.

Cole-Smith said last year 25 area churches participated in the Souper Bowl and it is expected that about 50 churches will participate this year.

“It’s such a simple gesture. Just bring some cans of soup and plastic bowls to church and we’ll do the rest,” said Cole-Smith.

For more information, call (352) 372-5111.

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