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Annual Souper Bowl Raises Money for W&L’s Backpack Program This year’s Souper Bowl raised $5,627 to support the Campus Kitchen at W&L’s Backpack Program.

Washington and Lee University’s Campus Kitchen (CKWL) and community members helped tackle childhood hunger in Rockbridge County in late January with its annual Souper Bowl event. This year’s Souper Bowl raised $5,627 to support the Campus Kitchen at W&L’s Backpack Program.

Bri Mondesir ’22 was a student volunteer for the big event, and an enthusiastic
soup runner. “Basically, I was a person tasked with filling people’s order forms,” she said. “I would grab a form and a drink carrier, go around Evans, and get the eight soups that they had chosen, hopefully without spilling it.”

This hunger-fighting project began in 2009 as a partnership between CKWL and local public schools. The program now serves all area elementary schools and Head Start programs, providing more than 1,250 children with a bag of non-perishable food items to take home for the weekend.

“This event wouldn’t be possible without the amazing people who came together to make soup yet again, so a specific thank you to all participating restaurants and sponsors,” said Ryan Brink ’18, Campus Kitchen coordinator.

Sunghee Kim Cruz ’23 helped work the Souper Bowl and enjoyed not only the soup, but the friendly faces at the event. “My favorite part was being one of the volunteers who checked people in for tickets,” Cruz said. “It was super rewarding getting to greet both familiar faces on campus and faces of the community I’ve never seen before. Seeing everyone that came and get excited about the event and the soups, as well as seeing firsthand how it brings the community together, is what I missed the most about this event prior to COVID, and I’m really glad that aspect of the Souper Bowl was present this year.”

Participating restaurants served soup creations on Jan. 30. Many used locally sourced ingredients. This year’s Souper Bowl participants were Blue Sky Bakery, CHEFS Catering, Globowl Café, Heliotrope Brewery, Legendary Eats, Pronto, the Red Hen, Rockbridge Jewish Community, LexMex Tacos, Southern Inn, Sweet Treats and W&L Dining Services.

If you missed this year’s event, you can still make contributions online at colonnadeconnections.wlu.edu/donate/pmt by selecting “Other” and writing in “Campus Kitchen” when asked where you would like to direct your gift.

The mission of CKWL is to use service to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities. CKWL combats hunger and promotes nutrition by recovering and reusing food that would otherwise go to waste into balanced meals for low-income community members in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

“We would also like to thank Full Circle Catering, The Georges and CAPTRUST for their sponsorship of the Souper Bowl,” said Brink. “We are excited about this year’s success, which we look forward to building on with the 2023 Souper Bowl.”