Students, teachers, art and soup might make for odd menu choices.
On Sunday, however, they made a delicious combination that helped the less fortunate.
The Chambersburg Area Senior High School art department hosted Soup for Soul to benefit South Central Community Action Programs’ food pantry. Each ticket holder received a bowl made by youths or an area artisan, then had that bowl filled with soup made by a chef.
Organizers hoped to raise $3,000 for the food pantry.
“Each bowl represents an empty bowl in someone’s home,” said Holly Strayer, an art teacher.
Strayer and fellow teacher Nicole Jacobs based Soup for Soul off a similar event in Washington County.
They wanted proceeds to be used locally, in part because nearly half of Chambersburg students meet federal guidelines to receive free- or reduced-cost lunch assistance.
“That number is just staggering. ... Maybe the only meal they get is at school,” Jacobs said.
Held at Central Presbyterian Church, the first Soup for Soul drew about 75 people for the bowls, donated food and beverages, and a silent auction of art.
Sharon Soper described the tomato bisque as “10 times better than mine.”
Food and beverage donations came from EJ’s Grill, Franklin County (Pa.) Career and Technology Center, Hoss’s Steak & Sea House, Tom Davis, Goose Bros., Giant, Starbucks, and family members of Jacobs and Strayer.
Soper, who is related to Jacobs, traveled from Downingtown, Pa., for the event, which she thought was important as a way to remember the food pantry at times other than the holiday season. She also said she appreciated seeing the teenagers volunteering for the cause.
“I think it’s a great way to teach them citizenship,” Soper said.
Students like Rikki Carlson, an 11th-grader, arrived hours before the fundraiser’s start to set up tables and complete other tasks to get ready. Her classmate, Britton Beegle, donated some of his photography to the silent auction.
Maggie Davis, a 10th-grader, said she felt the $30 ticket provided a great deal with good food and quality pottery that guests could keep.
“A lot of the people who made the bowls are well-known (local artists),” she said.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Marley Armstrong, who is in 11th grade. “I love the whole idea of it.”
Strayer and Jacobs said they hope to make Soup for Soul an annual tradition.