Iowa Hunger Fighters Draft Sports Fans through the Souper Bowl of Caring
Iowa’s hunger-fighting community is reaching out to sports fans this season through the Souper Bowl of Caring – an opportunity for individuals, church congregations, and other groups to team up against hunger. Teams can join the national Souper Bowl movement online and raise funds for their local food banks and food pantries.
Food banks and pantries can benefit from the Souper Bowl simply by encouraging members of their communities to participate. The Food Bank of Northeast Iowa is taking this approach. Meals from the Heartland is taking a similar approach to raising awareness through their independent Supper Bowl 2015 Challenge.
This year, Davenport Volunteer Connection is partnering with other area organizations to take the Souper Bowl of Caring to the next level through a kick-off event on Martin Luther King Day and a two week donation drive through Super Bowl Sunday.
Davenport Volunteer Connection, AmeriCorps member and RSVP collaborated to organize the local Souper Bowl drive to benefit the Kings Harvest Ministries food pantry. Over 150 community members participated in the very first Davenport area Souper Bowl kick-off event, which raised funds and awareness of the food pantry and of the importance of volunteering and national service organizations.
Organizers credit the event’s success to:
- Partnering with United Neighbors to hold the Souper Bowl kick-off during their annual MLK Day Celebration. This boosted participation in the kick off without adding an additional competing event to the MLK Day of Service – especially important because the Souper Bowl kick-off had not been done in Davenport before.
- Bringing together three National Service groups to co-organize the event. By working together, Davenport Volunteer Connection, AmeriCorps, and RSVP were able to make their message of community service through collaboration much more powerful.
- Recruiting community ambassadors to help publicize and promote the kick-off and ongoing Souper Bowl drive.
Recruiting more ambassadors and teaming up with other events to get more foot-traffic past the donation pots would further increase the success of the ongoing Souper Bowl drive.
For more information about the Davenport Souper Bowl of Caring drive, please contact Ms. Alisha Espey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-888-3201. For more information about the Northeast Iowa Food Bank’s Souper Bowl promotion, please contact Nikki Litzle at email@example.com or 319-235-0507. For more information about Meals from the Heartland’s Supper Bowl 2015 Challenge, please contact Mr. Dave Bradley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-473-9530.
Question of the Month: Your Responses are In
Last month, we asked Hunger Directory members to share what combination of relief (addressing the immediate needs of hungry people) and development (helping hungry people better meet their own needs over time) best describes the work that you do. Here is some of their feedback:
“The focus changes as resources / donations become available. Without donations, we don't have resources for relief. Our long term emphasis is on development. We are glad to be involved in both.”
“We provide relief through student meals every day, but also development by education students and families which will help them be better able to seek and provide healthy food for themselves.”
“It's difficult for the Coalition to separate feeding and development. Our goal to alleviate hunger, especially childhood hunger requires a combination of feeding, empowering, and advocating.”
Tools of the Trade: 2015 Iowa Planting and Harvest Calendar
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working to educate citizens around the state about the availability of Iowa-grown fruits and vegetables, by offering the 2015 Iowa Planting and Harvest Calendar free of charge to schools and other community and education organizations. Contact Tammy Stotts at email@example.com to receive free copies of this calendar.
Photo Credits: Top: Davenport Organizers at Souper Bowl kick-off, Middle: MLK Day Celebration at United Neighbors, Bottom: 2015 Iowa Planting and Harvest Calendar