‘SouperBowl’ helps with food pantry, community building

By Megan Marley

St. Charles Borromeo parish has found a ‘souper’ way to build up parish community.

The parish’s Team Rebuilt decided collecting canned soup for the parish food pantry and hosting a ‘SouperBowl’ Tailgate on February 2 not only builds community spirit, but exercises the virtues as well.

“There’s always someone who isn’t as fortunate as you or I,” said Mark Tomes, who is on the committee.

“Our group is just to help rebuild community spirit into St. Charles parish and the academy,” he said.

The idea of a canned soup drive in part came from his nieces, who previously held drives for their gold star Girl Scout projects. Now in it’s third year, the SouperBowl has four promoting weekend ‘quarters’ to amp up the drive, including presentations on food pantry stats, a student play, a can sculpture competition and the ‘SouperBowl Tailgate’ on Super Bowl weekend.

“We feed over 7,000 families in a year, we’ve handed out over 45 tons last year at St. Charles food pantry. We had 20,000 cans of soup that we had donated and it’s all gone already,” Tomes said. “With all those cans donated, we were able to take the money we would have normally spent on soup and we were able to buy fresh meat.”

Borromeo Academy students got involved putting on a ‘gifts of the Spirit’ play at the parish for the ‘second quarter’ January 19.

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit,” narrated one child.

“The Spirit has given to each of us a special way of serving others,” said another, as angels were sent from ‘Heaven’ to deliver boxes of spiritual gifts to different scenarios.

“God wants the different parts (of the Body of Christ) to care the same for each another, if one part of the body suffers, all of the parts suffer, or if one part of the body is honored, all the other parts share its honor,” one girl read. “As one church, one community, one Body in Christ, we are all called to use our gifts, this month to help feed the poor.”

“Thank you for your donations to the St. Charles Food Pantry!” they all said in unison.

This year, the parish hopes to exceed their previous record of cans collected.

“Last year we collected 20,600 cans, so this year we’re hoping that we break that. Who knows?” Tomes said.

Local restaurants, parish organizations and parishioners will have a wide array of chili, minestrone, broccoli cheese, white chili and more for folks to try at the ‘SouperBowl’ tailgate after the 4 pm Vigil Mass February 2. They hope for a large crowd.

“That’s what it’s all about, building community and getting everyone back together at St. Charles—we’re all one body,” Tomes said.

For more information on St. Charles Borromeo parish, visit stcharleskc.com.


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November 29, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph