Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 8, 2013

‘Souper Bowl’ serves community

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — There was a capacity crowd in The Neighborhood on Sunday as the city celebrated its second Souper Bowl of Caring.

“It was an overflow crowd. Every seat was taken,” said organizer Marty Gute, who brought the idea to Ashland after participating in a similar event with his son in Lexington a few years ago.

“There was a good crowd waiting at 6 p.m. when we opened and everybody got their fill of soup and sandwiches and pizza and desserts,” Gute said, explaining the event was well-staffed with volunteers from Community Kitchen as well as area church and civic groups alongside individuals who wanted to help make the event a success.

Gute said the location was switched from the original location at the city’s bus and train depot to The Neighborhood at the corner of Carter Avenue and 15th Street partially because it is a place most who need food and clothing are familiar with.

“When they were done eating it allowed them to go right next door to The Dressing Room for clothes, and when they were done with that we had them a sack lunch to take home,” Gute said, adding many who participated were likely able to take home enough food to last the remainder of the week.

More than 200 received food and clothing at this year’s event, compared to about 150 last year, Gute said, and everything offered seemed to be in demand.

“It seemed like everyone who participated got a little bit of everything,” Gute said. “We didn’t have anything left.”

The city commissioner said the local event, which is part of a nationwide push, is a reflection of the caring attitudes and actions of many in the area.

“I just do it as a citizen,” he said. “And, while it is part of a national thing, it is definitely a community effort made by a host of volunteers.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.