Saturday, February 12, 2011
A Chili Cook-Off to Tackle Hunger
Last Sunday, as many prepared appetizers and Super Bowl food, our church's youth organized a chili cook-off. Congregation members generously donated crockpots of their favorite recipes and homemade cornbread. Others brought crackers, sour cream, chopped onions, and cheese. Can you imagine the wonderful smell? Hamburger and secret ingredients filled the gym with the spicy aroma of caring for the hungry.
The Souper Bowl of Caring is a youth-led national movement that last year raised over 10 million dollars, which were given to local charities of the group's choice. According to their website, www.souperbowl.org, one in six people (one in four children) in America live in food insecure households. Our youth decided to donate any money gifted to the Farmington Food Shelf.
Two empty soup kettles represented the opposing teams. Suggested donations were $5.00 per bowl, and you voted by placing any amount of money in your favorite team's kettle. People had access to unlimited chili, cornbread and beverages. You were also given a poker chip which you used to vote on your favorite chili.
During the course of the morning, someone started a bowl to donate to the commercials and halftime as the reason to watch. This bowl got $30 in gifts!
Our mission church served over seventy people, and raised $445 dollars to fight hunger in our county. The Packers won the game and raised the most money that morning. It was so much fun; people were relaxed and generous, and are already discussing next year's event. We are considering adding soup as well as chili next year, and making sure the rest of the community knows they are invited!