Souper Bowl of Caring – A Family Meal That Gives Back

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Why do I love Ronald McDonald House’s Souper Bowl of Caring? Because it combines the best part of my day with an act of giving back to our community. How can you beat that?

Souper Bowl of Caring

We’ve all heard the benefits of regular family mealtimes. According to the Family Dinner Project, some of the specific benefits of family dinners are:

  • Better academic performance
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Greater sense of resilience
  • Lower risk of substance abuse
  • Lower risk of teen pregnancy
  • Lower risk of depression
  • Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders
  • Lower rates of obesity

In our family, we’ll fudge bedtimes or  skip homework, but we don’t skip family dinners. It’s not just because of all those benefits. It is mostly because we want to be together. I work an 8-hour day, the kids go to school, and my husband juggles the demands of the little ones with the home and making dinner, just so we can sit down around a table and be together for a few minutes of every day.

This doesn’t mean its easy. Sometimes we forget to plan or the plan falls apart or we are just so busy, its hard to find time for a sit down meal. This is where an annual tradition like the Souper Bowl of Caring is so wonderful.

The Souper Bowl of Caring

This ingenious event is a gourmet soup sales fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House. To participate you just have to order a quart of soup now through February 8th and then pick it up from the Ronald McDonald House office or Le Cordon Bleu in Mendota Heights on February 15th to take home for dinner. It pairs nicely with some crust bread and a bagged salad.

The soup is madeby Le Cordon Bleu chefs and proceeds are donated to the Ronald McDonald House. This year’s soup choices include Chicken Wild Rice, Loaded Baked Potato and Vegetarian Tomato Basil. Pick up February 15  Delivery available in Twin Cities.

Ronald McDonald Houses in the Twin Cities

According to Deidre Franzen, a volunteer for Ronald McDonald House, the Oak Street location “is an entire complex of townhomes, playgrounds, gardens, four kitchens, and many sitting areas for families. It also houses a gym, movie theater and most impressively – a school for kids of all ages through High School, so siblings are able to continue with their schooling when the entire family needs to be in the area for long term.”

When Darlene DesLauriers had open heart surgery she had a chance to see the impact first hand.

I saw and spoke with many families whose children were in Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. I was very impressed and thankful that the Ronald McDonald House was there. They provide rooms for parents to stay in so they can rest and reboot and also not break the bank to stay in a hotel (people come from all over the state). There are also many volunteers who make and bring in food (sometimes cooking right in the kitchen) for families to eat. Additionally, the cupboards, refrigerators and pantry are stocked with all sorts of foods for families to cook for themselves when volunteers are either not available or so families can eat any time of day or night. It also provides for unplanned discussions among parents, grandparents, etc. to talk about their children, prognoses, etc. which I believe helps provide a certain type of relief/calmness (even if for just for 5 minutes) for those going through scary times.

This entire program allows family to be “close” by for their children and smiles and upbeat attitudes from volunteers and a chance to share worries with others in similar situations.

Trust me, this means a lot to families experiencing extreme stress.

Opportunities to give back as a family are plentiful and sometimes they can just add to the stress of day to day life. This is an opportunity to do something for the community while taking a little family time to unwind togehter.


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About the author

Joy Peters

Joy Peters - co-creator and writer for FamilyFunTwinCities.com.

Besides Family Fun Twin Cities, I spend my 9 to 5 at a day job pursuing my weird passion for calendars and organizing things as a legal secretary. When I get home I spend my time with my four kids, 10, 6, 4 and 1. My amazing husband is both a full-time musician and full-time stay-at-home dad. Together we run a small radio empire — SiaNet Radio — playing, promoting and enjoying the wide variety of local music and art in the Twin Cities. I juggle all this while writing about exploring the Twin Cities with kids. I couldn’t be happier.

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