Calgary Soup Sisters
The Calgary Foundation team was the latest to experience a Soup Sisters event. Across Canada, over 10,000 servings of nutritious soup are produced by volunteers each month. This amounts to over 1.5 million servings of soup delivered to shelters since 2009. Today, Soup Sisters operates in more than 25 cities in North America.
The organization was actually founded by a Calgarian in 2009. Sharon Hapton believed that the gesture of offering a hearty, nourishing bowl of soup could make a tangible difference as a message of caring to individuals experiencing homelessness or domestic abuse.
The first Canadian shelter recipient of Soup Sisters was the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. As one of the largest organizations in Canada for anyone hurt by family violence, their leadership and support helped develop a template for Soup Sisters to partner with shelters across the country.
A fee on behalf of each soup-making participant covers the cost of the finest ingredients available; a suitable venue and equipment; and supervision with a chef or professional facilitator. After the hard work is done, participants enjoy socializing over a simple, sit-down supper. By the end of the evening, 150-250 servings of nurturing soup are portioned into containers ready for delivery to a local shelter.
Kim Crews had recently joined Calgary’s Foundation team. Core connector Sharon Cyrenne encouraged Kim to take a lead in organizing the Soup Sisters event for the branch.
“When Sharon forwarded me the event, I ran with it!” says Kim.
“Helping raise awareness about personal addiction and family violence as well as contributing to the community always feels great,” continues Kim. “Soup soothes the soul. I was glad we could participate in this event for such a great cause… a HUG in a bowl!”
The team made three different varieties: chicken noodle, spaghetti and mini meatballs, and a hamburger soup.
The soup-makers were well fed for their services, too.
“They served us borscht as a starter soup,” says Kim. “As a main, we had a fresh and delicious garden salad with arugula, berries and spicy grilled chicken. Many laughs and stories were shared and we all left very content.”
The soups produced by the team that evening went to Alcove, a centre for addiction recovery for women.
Kim extends a “souper huge thanks” to everyone who volunteered!