Despite the frigid temperatures, the Canal Winchester Community Food Pantry won big with this year's Souper Bowl.
Canal Winchester Human Services Administrator Penny Miller said the Feb. 2 event rivaled previous years with more than 300 people donating more than $7,000 for the food pantry plus $1,000 toward its new capital campaign.
Each year, the pantry's staff and volunteers serve up a lunch of soup and bread alongside a silent auction to highlight the organization's services to those in need.
"The money will go to help with whatever need there might be to support the programming, be it more food or fixing a broken refrigerator," Miller said.
According to Miller, Souper Bowl attendees streamed in steadily from the time the doors opened at 11 a.m. until things wrapped up at 2 p.m., ahead of that other Super Bowl.
"Our programs are kind of like our children, and the Souper Bowl is definitely the food pantry's time to shine, bringing awareness to the fact that people living in our community who are hungry," Miller said.
In addition to selling more than 100 bowls created by Canal Winchester High School pottery students, Miller said more than 100 donated items were auctioned off as a part of the fundraiser.
"I don't know where to start with thank-yous," she said. "Thanks to all of the students of Canal Winchester who made placemats, banners and the empty bowls; to the local business sponsors like Wendy's, Harvest Moon, Bob Evans, Hope UMC, Butch's Cafe, Panera; and everyone who brought in baked goods and silent auction items."
The Community Food Pantry takes donations year-round in person at 360 W. Waterloo St., at the Canal Winchester Community Center, 22 S. Trine St., or online at www.cwhumanservices.org.
"I want to especially thank all that attended the event and donated, making the day so tremendous," Miller said.