A Souper Fest to End Homelessness

Concord residents showed how much they care. A good crowd turned out on a chilly, wet March day to raise money for Concord Coalition to End Homelessness and to celebrate the churches in the community who run homeless shelters. They held the 6th Annual Community SouperFest at Rundlett Middle School and it featured a full afternoon of activities. (More photos here.)

The day started with FunFest that filled the gym at Rundlett with games, activities, face painting, music, and laughter (a good way to spend the day since the weather wasn’t so nice). The Beaver Meadow School cup stacking team showed how fast their hands can move and Boy Scouts helped keep everything running smoothly.

Once the kids were all played out, everyone moved next door to the auditorium to listen and dance to David Shore’s Trunk O’ Funk. The five-member band played a variety of funky, groovy, and popping songs from the 1970s to current hits. All this worked up a healthy appetite for the main event of the day.

If you like soup and bread, this was definitely the place to be. About a dozen local chefs, business people, and politicians cooked up their favorite recipes. There were vegetarian soups and some with meat and fish. There were American favorites like tomato and some from different parts of the world. All of them were delicious. Local bakers and bakeries also provided a wonderful selection of breads to compliment the soup.

We can’t forget, though, that the good times and great food were all to benefit a worthy organization fighting for an important cause. Homelessness is a problem everywhere, of course, but the cold New England winters mean extra challenges. The First and South Congregational Churches have been operating cold weather shelters for the past 11 years. SoupFest began five years ago as a way to raise funds and increase awareness of homelessness in Concord.

The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness joined in the event several years ago and expanded it this year to raise even more money and awareness for Concord’s Plan to End Homelessness. Preliminary numbers look like SouperFest was even more successful than they had hoped. In addition to the food and fun, First and South Congregational Churches were praised and recognized for their work and service as they closed the cold weather shelters for the last time. They were presented with Proclamations from Gov. Maggie Hassan (presented by Sen. Sylvia Larsen) and the City of Concord (presented by Mayor Jim Bouley).

Homelessness is a problem that we can solve and it starts with acknowledging the humanity of those who have found themselves and homeless and offering them dignity and compassion. Please find a way to help – no matter how small. Here are some resources:

Concord Coalition to End Homelessness

CCEH on Facebook

Concord Homeless Resource Center

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