Dover Souper Bowl event to help fill Salvation Army food pantries

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A Souper Bowl event was held earlier this month in Wilmington. Saturday’s Souper Bowl at Wesley United Methodist Church costs $10 for an all-you-can eat bowl. (Submitted photo/Salvation Army of Delaware)

DOVER — February can be a rough month for food pantries.

It’s not too long after Christmas, meaning many people have temporarily exhausted their budgets, and, in turn, charity donations. The cold winter weather also forces more people to seek food assistance.

After all, hunger doesn’t go away — it lingers, unaffected by whatever else is going on in the world, impacting children and adults alike.

To help combat that, the Delaware chapter of the Salvation Army is hosting an event that allows people to help a good cause while having a good time.

The second annual Souper Bowl in Dover is set for Saturday at Wesley United Methodist Church, 209 S. State St., from noon to 3 p.m.

The name is not just a clever pun but is also a literal descriptor of the event.

People purchase hand-painted bowls and can enjoy all-you-can-eat soups. Made and donated by local restaurants, the soups come in a wide variety of flavors. Some past types have included clam chowder, beef barley, butternut bisque and chili.

“It’s the kind of event that once you’ve done it once, you like it and we ask you to come again,” said Carl Colantuono, the Delaware Salvation Army’s director of development.

It’s an occasion that takes place in many cities across the nation, and the local chapter of the Salvation Army is hoping to make it a recurring tradition.

People can walk around and socialize during the Souper Bowl, while music plays to help keep the gathering lively and entertaining. There’s also a popular vote of the best soup. Cosi’s tomato and basil soup was named the winner at the Wilmington Souper Bowl earlier this month.

“It’s a great time just to talk soup with people,” Mr. Colantuono said.

Even the bowls are more than just your run-of-the-mill containers. Hand painted by some of the Salvation Army’s artists, they are truly unique. Members of the Creative Hearts program, which encourages developmentally disabled people to express themselves through art and develop new skills in the process, decorate the bowls.

Bowls cost $10 and can be bought ahead of time or at the door.

All the proceeds go to filling the Salvation Army’s food pantries, and the money from the Dover event will be used to support the Kent County location.

About 50 people attended last year, meaning the charity received around $500.

Anyone looking to attend simply needs to purchase a bowl. For questions, call the Salvation Army at 472-0700 or email Mr. Colantuono at carl.colantuno@USE.salvationarmy.org. Information is also on the organization’s Facebook page by searching for The Salvation Army-Delaware.

“People come together and they feel good about having a great time,” Mr. Colantuono said.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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