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March 17, 2011

Raising money to help the homeless in Northern California, one soup bowl at a time

Soup fundraiser

What would you give for a soup bowl like this, made and decorated by a child and filled with homemade soup?

Fifteen dollars doesn't seem like much to pay, especially when it's a donation to help alleviate homelessness. And you get to keep the bowl.

Last weekend, my friend Michelle Stern, owner of What's Cooking With Kids in San Rafael, California, and author of The Whole Family Cookbook, and her friend Kebby McInroy, owner of Studio 4 Art in Novato, teamed up on a great fundraising event to benefit Homeward Bound of Marin, an agency providing housing, training and support services for homeless adults and children.

For the second year in a row, students from the entire community went to Studio 4 Art to make and glaze bowls, donated by the studio, for the San Rafael 4H Club's flagship community service program of the year.

The kids made and decorated the soup bowls before the event, and they also made the soup! Michelle hosted a kids' cooking class in her home and visited two schools to cook with the kids. A few other families donated soup, too, so at the event, there was soup to appeal to every taste: minestrone, tortilla, butternut squash, and a butternut squash and black bean vegetarian chili.

Everyone who donated $15 got to choose a bowl and fill it with soup. Then, after a delicious meal, they could bring their oven/microwave/dishwasher safe bowls home -- a year-round reminder of the power of soup to nourish and strengthen their community.

Soup fundraiser

Photos courtesy of Michelle Stern and used with permission. If you're on Facebook and would like to see the set of photos from this event, including more amazingly beautiful soup bowls decorated by super-creative kids, follow this link.


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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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