The SOUPer Bowl is hoping to score a big win over hunger and help fund critical services in Canal Winchester.

The seventh annual fundraiser for the Canal Winchester Human Services Community Food Pantry will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 3 at 80 Covenant Way in Canal Winchester.

Human services director Penny Miller said the event is open to everyone.

Last year, more than 300 attended the open house, and more than $9,000 was raised to help with the food pantry's operating expenses. The goal this year is to raise more than $10,000.

"First, it is a wonderful way to invite the public to see the building and understand all the programs that are provided by Human Services," Miller said. "It is also our only fundraiser of the year. Currently, we do not receive funding from any source to help with the costs of maintaining and operating our own building, so the money raised at the SOUPer Bowl will be very important in the coming year."

Miller said the food pantry serves more than 1,000 clients. In addition, the senior transportation program provides rides to more than 250 people and the community outreach programs helps more than 500 each year.

Those who attend the SOUPer Bowl will be treated to a free lunch of a variety of soups, bread and dessert -- although donations are encouraged.

So far, Human Services has received donations of soup from Hope and Lithopolis United Methodist churches, David Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Canal Wigwam restaurant.

For a donation of $10, patrons can purchase a keepsake ceramic bowl crafted by about 85 Canal Winchester High School staff members, art students and members of school clubs.

The high school art department has been designing the bowls for the event since the inception of the SOUPer Bowl.

"Pottery is especially gratifying because it is something that may be used and enjoyed every day," visual arts teacher Kelly Helser said. "Clay-makers enjoy being creative and sharing that feeling with others."

Helser said that while it can take several weeks to complete one bowl, students and staff are "very supportive" and "honored to contribute" to the community.

"Students really enjoy making something special, knowing that it will catch someone's eye and become a reminder of the event," she said. "They know their efforts will help someone who is in need.

"When something you made goes out into the world to help someone, it is a good feeling and makes a person want to do more."

In addition to the bowls that can be purchased, the food pantry will have a silent auction of more than 100 gift cards, certificates for free services, gift baskets, and more.

There will also be a "Halftime Bake Sale," which will allow patrons to purchase a variety of treats and sweets to enjoy as they watch the evening's televised Super Bowl.

Since parking-lot space is limited, Miller encouraged the public to park next door at the David Lutheran Church parking lot. Parking at the food pantry will be reserved for individuals with disabilities.

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