Sunday, February 6, 2011

The "Souper Bowl"

This one Sunday, when a singular sporting event captures the imagination and hype like no other in America, the Super Bowl...
...this one day, on which a game is the pinnacle of professional success for those who play and love the sport of football...
...this one Sunday when folks actually look forward to watching the commercials... also known as “Souper Bowl Sunday.”
True story.  Back in 1990, a simple prayer offered at a church in South Carolina went something like this: "Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.”
From that simple prayer arose an inspired thought, then a vision, then an action, and finally, a movement. It’s all about fighting hunger. Since 1990, Souper Bowl Sunday has generated over $70 million for food banks and soup kitchens in America, thanks to energized youth and their leaders, who have mobilized by collecting donations in soup pots and given the money over to a local charity of their choosing.
A simple idea, gone viral. 

Last year alone, Souper Bowl Sunday generated $10 million. That’s a lot of prime time commercials on game day.  And the trend is moving upward.  It’s now an organization that has a staff, a mission statement, a board, the whole thing is growing.
Oregonians should be familiar with an ugly statistic: we are in the third hungriest state in the nation.  

Third. Hungriest. 

Over 500,000 people face food insecurity every day in this state. That includes people who have struggled to get back on their feet after losing a job, a home, a future, in a really difficult economy. It means that they have to make choices between food and other basic necessities, and often times, they are going without adequate food. 

Those of us with enough, and with more than enough, must continue to see ourselves in the solutions to this problem.  And what a better time than right now--as we gather around the guacamole--to remind ourselves of this fact.
So, as we dip the chips, watch the game, cheer for our favorite team, laugh at the ridiculous commercials, and rock out to the Black Eyed Peas at halftime, I encourage us all, dear readers, to make a contribution.
You can donate directly to the Souper Bowl Website, or just choose a hunger organization locally to donate to and make it count as part of this special effort.

Go team.


Anonymous said...

I had not realized that so many people HERE, in my home state, were going hungry. It is hard to believe in the twenty first century people are going without their most basic of needs being met. It is truly a shame. It is doubly a shame in Oregon where we have such an abundance of food around us.

I especially think about how rough it must be for children. Food insecurity is appropriately named. And think if you are a child what that means. If you cannot feel secure about having enough food - what can you feel secure about?

Thanks for drawing our attention to this and giving us something positive we can do about it!

Kelly Carlisle said...

Thanks, Daniel! Yes, it's sort of a shock to find out how big a problem this actually is. Thankfully, it's something that is truly solvable. The Marion-Polk Food Share here is an exemplary organization that makes great use of being efficient with resources, and staying responsive to the tremendous need.

Jessica said...

I have a hard time when thinking about children going hungry. It's an overwhelming problem to me. I have to remember that I have my family to think of first and foremost. On the other hand, we have so much that it wouldn't be that hard for me to give a little more than I do. I'm guilty of being so concerned with my own life and circle of events that I often forget others. The bible tells us that we will always have the hungry with us, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't care for them. Thanks for the post!

Kelly Carlisle said...

Jessica, thanks for the great comment. You're such a conscientious parent. I know you and Eric are raising your sons to be mindful of people who have less. That is truly awesome. Something you might consider is taking them down to the Oregon Food Bank to help out. If you call ahead of time they can tell you how and when to come and be part of the work. They have an amazing crew down there who really do a nice job of organizing the work so that anybody of any age can be useful! They even let me sort apples one time :)

Jessica said...

I love that they "let" you sort apples! We'll have to check that out this summer when I have all my nieces and nephew. It would be a good lesson for all of them for sure.