Nearly 30 years ago, a youth group in South Carolina gave birth to an idea to use Super Bowl weekend to unify the nation around a higher good: collecting monetary and food donations for the hungry. Named the Souper Bowl of Caring, these efforts became a nationwide movement, one that Fox Valley United Way is sponsoring in this area for the 11th year.
This year’s Souper Bowl takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. Groups of Fox Valley area youth and leaders will be greeting shoppers in local stores and inspiring them to purchase groceries from a suggested list of non-perishable food items to leave in a bin near the store exit. Shoppers may also provide a cash donation, each dollar donated provides the pantries with $8 in purchasing power at the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
Once again, local Jewel-Osco stores and Prisco’s Family Market, in Aurora, will be welcoming the volunteers.
“The Souper Bowl of Caring is an event that Jewel-Osco looks forward to participating in each year,” said Jewel-Osco President Mike Withers. “Too many families continue to worry about where their next meal will come from, and that is why we are committed to eradicating the problem by keeping the shelves stocked at our local food pantries.”
Youth volunteers will be present at Jewel-Osco stores on Eola Road and West Galena Boulevard in Aurora; Veterans Parkway in Yorkville; Orchard Road and Route 30 in Oswego; and North Route 47 in Sugar Grove; as well as Prisco’s Family Market on Prairie Street in Aurora.
“Last year, we were thrilled to make a difference for the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry and the Kendall County Community Food Pantry through the efforts of these compassionate young volunteers and generous shoppers,” said Michael Meyer, FVUW chief executive officer. “Approximately 2,400 pounds of food was collected as well as $8,247 which gave the food pantries the ability to purchase $65,976 worth of groceries at the Northern Illinois Food Bank.”
Community members can participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring before Feb. 4, as well. Leading up to Super Bowl weekend, folks have the opportunity to host food drives or sell Soup Pot cards and bring these donations to the FVUW office. Soup Pot cards are available from FVUW and sold for $1 each. For more information on participating in this way, please call Deborah Rudel at 630-896-4636, Ext. 102.
Contributions can be made securely through the FVUW online giving platform at www.foxvalleyunitedway.org.
About Fox Valley United Way
Founded in 1922, Fox Valley United Way (FVUW) is a volunteer-supported organization that provides an efficient and effective way for contributors to give one gift that will help support a range of social service programs, helping to meet the most critical needs within their communities. Fox Valley United Way provides funding to 63 organizations in 23 communities in Kane and Kendall counties, including: Aurora, Big Rock, Bristol, Campton Hills, Elburn, Geneva, Hinckley, Kaneville, LaFox, Little Rock, Maple Park, Millbrook, Montgomery, Mooseheart, North Aurora, Oswego, Plano, Plattville, Sandwich, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, Wasco and Yorkville. FVUW also initiates innovative programs like SPARK (www.sparkaurora.org) and Volunteer Fox Valley (www.volunteerfoxvalley.org).