Today was the 5th annual Winnipeg Harvest Empty Bowls Souper Lunch. In many ways such anniversaries are hard events to mark. They remind us of the fact that there is still an awful lot of hunger in our city. We still have along way to go to get to the point where our city no longer needs a food bank. Yet, as this event reaches its fifth anniversary, its growth reminds us that there are more and more people in Winnipeg who are committed to trying to end hunger.While Winnipeg Harvest does employ paid staff, the heart and soul of the operation is the many people who volunteer countless hours to helping provide everyone with enough food to eat. This year the Souper Lunch featured place mats that paid tribute to the memory of Kevin Walters who spearheaded the beginnings of the Empty Bowls Super Lunch.
The Empty Bowls Souper Lunch is held at the MTS Centre. The soups for the Winnipeg Harvest fundraiser were prepared by the staff at Centerplate, the MTS Centre’s in house restaurant. At the Souper lunch you get to help a great cause. You also get a real great lunch.
Thanks to donors such as Peak of the Market, your $10 got you unlimited soup along with a slice of bread to go with each bowl. As I walked around, I heard a lot of people talking about trying multiple soups but limiting their bread intake. Keep those carbs at bay.
There were five soups in all, and each of them was delicious. There was Pulled Pork Chili, Turkey and Wild Rice, Cream Of Asparagus, Mediterranean Red Lentil, and Minestrone. My favourite, not surprisingly, was the Pulled Pork Chili, but I also really liked the Turkey and Wild Rice. The best part from a tasting point of view was that you couldn’t go wrong with any of the five soups. Each of them was extremely well done. Kudos to the Centerplate staff.
Winnipeg Harvest Souper Bowls Extras:
While the food was great, there were other parts of the day that served to help Winnipeg Harvest fund raise. The first of these was a raffle. Many local celebrities and a few celebrities from further afield, such as John Legend, donated painted and signed bowls. Along with the bowls there were a variety of gift packs in the raffle.
Air Canada was also selling tickets for the chance to win a trip for two to anywhere Air Canada flies. Along with this prize the first 200 ticket buyers received a free painted bowl. These bowls were created and decorated by the students at Sister MacNamara School. I liked this because Sister MacNamara is in my neighbourhood. I also have friends whose children have attended there, and the teacher who was with the kids is someone I know from when she worked at the Ellice Cafe.
As with all of these events, the added bonus of them is that it brings people from all over the city together. It was great running into Susie Parker of SPARKER Strategy Group along with Ron Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal. As always it was great seeing Chantel Mierau, local artist and Winnipeg Harvest Employee.
One additional feature of this years Souper Lunch, was the fact that many local restaurants also joined in to offer a soup special in aid of Winnipeg Harvest. They’re only running today. They may only be lunch offers, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.