Food, Gratitude, Link Ups, Reflection

What’s On Your Plate — Bowl of Hope To Go

What’s been on my plate recently: Vegetarian Minestrone Soup served in beautiful ceramic bowls. The soup was prepared by The Salvation Army (Parksville). The bowls were handmade and donated by The Arrowsmith Potters Guild.

This was part of the Bowl of Hope To Go Virtual Fundraiser that recently took place on May 28, World Hunger Day.

Tickets to this online event were $30.00 (Cdn) each. The proceeds ($3,700) will be used to support Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army Soup Kitchen. This kitchen currently provides meals for over 100 people four days per week.

Bowl of Hope participants received a pint of soup (chicken or vegetarian), a handmade pottery bowl (in their choice of colour/design), a link to the documentary ‘Us and Them’ and an online discussion with the filmmaker Krista Loughton. ‘Us and Them’ was designed to take viewers behind the scenes and stimulate rethinking on homelessness and housing insecurity. You can watch the first ten minutes here or view the trailer here.

The film was intense and powerful. The follow-up discussion was incredibly open and personal. I still have much rethinking to do.

Although this event has now passed, there are numerous ways that you can get involved and make a difference to homelessness and hunger in your community. When asked the question of how best to help, Krista reminded us not to overlook kindness. She recommended:

1. If you see someone on the street who is unhoused, acknowledge them. Smile, give eye contact or say hello. Don’t deliberately look away or cross the street.
2. If you are in a situation where others are criticizing homelessness, don’t stay silent — advocate.
3. Get Informed – Resources for Victoria, BC, can be found here. Similar resources in others areas can usually be found through a quick internet search. On June 15, Krista will lead an online film screening of Us & Them followed by a panel discussion. Tickets are free on Eventbrite.
4. Donate (money, time, canned goods or other resources)- Every donation, regardless of its size, adds up to make a huge difference.

You could also create your own version of Bowl of Hope To Go (with yourself, friends or family) with proceeds going to your local soup kitchen or similar organization. Be creative, have fun!

Food brings us together. It celebrates our culture, reflects our individuality, builds community and inspires our gratitude. I look forward to reading what’s been on your plate recently.

This month’s features:

Sheet Pan Shrimp & Asparagus (Deb – WOYP Inventor and Cohost)
Beef and Broccoli Soboro (Jo – Brookford Kitchen Diaries)
Sweet Potato Muffins (Sue – Women Living Well After 50)
Blueberry Muffins (Ju-Lyn – Touring My Backyard)
Chicken and Mushrooms (Tammy L. Breitweiser)
Saute Soft Shell Crab (Antoinette – Stories Served Around the Table)
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (Janis – Retirementally Challenged)
Veg on the Grill (Marian Allen, Author Lady)


74 thoughts on “What’s On Your Plate — Bowl of Hope To Go”

  1. Thanks for sharing this story Donna – inspiring. A wonderful initiative and a win-win all round. I watched the trailer and hope to watch the longer 12 min one later. A thought kept on coming to mind: There by the Grace of God go you or I – BUT this also made me realise that this then makes me obligated (in the best sense) to help where I can.

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    1. Hi, Susan – I am continually inspired by your wisdom and your depth of thought. “There by the Grace of God go me and you” is so true. This statement also compels us to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. I highly recommend the longer version of the film. It moves to the core.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this idea and the bowls are beautiful. The salvation army do good work here as well.

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  3. Hi Donna – the bowl is lovely and the soup looks delicious. What an excellent way to engage with the community (especially during the isolation of covid) and to draw attention to an ongoing problem that all communities have hiding just below the surface.

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    1. Hi, Leanne – I read your post last night and miss you already. I love our regular chats like this. I will now stalk you on FB and stay in touch that way.
      Thank you for reminding us that this is an (often hidden) issue for all communities. Many individual communities (like Victoria, BC featured) are doing some remarkable, creative work to proactively address this urgent need.

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    1. HI, Tammy – It’s a pleasure to meet you. I greatly appreciate you dropping by and sharing your Chicken and Mushroom recipe, as well as your healthy lifestyle. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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  4. What a wonderful idea. I’ll go look at the clip of the video. This was a win-win for me because I also clicked on sweet potato muffins and then signed up to get notice of the Women Living Well blog! 🙂

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    1. Hi, Dawn – It is awesome to hear from you. I still use several of the recipes that you sent to me more than a year ago. I now have my own copy of Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows Cookbook. I’m glad that you connected with Sue at Women Living Well. She runs an awesome blog (and includes podcasts and videocasts). Definitely watch the Us and Them video clip. I believe that you will deeply connect with it.

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    1. Thanks, Frank – As a bonus, the minestrone was incredibly delicious. Ironically, I had recently purchased a pint of rather expensive soup from a super fancy place. It was not half as tasty as the Soup Kitchen Soup that I received through this fundraiser.
      My phone just clicked with your recent post – I am off to read it now.

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  5. A subject dear to my heart. For years, my husband worked for an agency that helped to reduce homelessness. And, for about 15 years, I volunteered at our local food pantry, which gave healthy food to those in need. Lots of thoughts about homelessness and hunger, but in the end it all comes down to generosity and fairness. Lots of working folks came to the food pantry. If they had been paid more, then they wouldn’t have needed to come. And for those who are unable to work…if we gave better benefits, then they wouldn’t have to struggle with hunger. As for homelessness, more, more, more affordable apartments are needed. Many more.

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      1. Hi, Laurie – I agree that people experiencing homelessness is on the rise. In Victoria, BC there is some great service in this area initiated by a group of women over 50. As with many concerns, we (sadly) cannot always wait for our government to act first.

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  6. Hi Donna – wonderful story … while the soup looks delicious and nourishing. Definitely a fund-raiser worth supporting … and I must be back to see the link and learn more. Thanks for this – and for writing up Krista’s advice. Enjoy the event on 15th June … cheers Hilary

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    1. H, Hilary – Thank you for stopping by. The link is definitely worth checking out. Unfortunately, I cannot attend the online event on June 15. It is strange (but wonderful) to now have conflicting engagements!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your “soup story” and the video and helping your readers (including me) open our hearts and minds to those who are homeless. Yes, as one of your commenters said, we should all realize that homelessness could happen to any of us. Understanding, compassion, and help are what is required of all of us. You are a wonderful spokesperson to share the word…and the soup. THANK you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Pam – Thank you for your very kind words. Bowl of Hope To Go was a very small local event, that was attached to a tragically large issue. I am very happy to help spread the word for the important work that Krista and others have been doing in this area.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve seen mention of the documentary but you’re the first person who I know who has seen it. I adore your bowls, both for their meaning and because they’re cute.

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    1. Hi, Ally – That’s very cool that you have heard of this film. It was made on Vancouver Island so I am glad to hear that it has spread well beyond our area. Being the eager beavers that we are (errr, that I am), we went to pick up our bowls on the first hour, of the first day, that they were available. The potters did an incredible job. The bowl selections were gorgeous!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Donna, The Salvos (as we call them) do a wonderful job don’t they and Bowl of Hope is a wonderful project. We all need hope in our lives don’t we and I know the people the Salvation Army help need all the hope they can get. The soup looks delicious and I love the bowls. I must see if they have an event here as it is coming into Winter so perhaps a similar fundraiser might be planned that I can contribute to. Minestrone is such a versatile and delicious warming soup. One of my favourites. Thanks for the shoutout and the #whatsonyourplateblogchallenge which I am really enjoying. I even have an idea for next month! #onaroll xx

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  10. Marvellous. We have our share of food banks and soup kitchens here too. They are growing in number which is disgraceful in this day and age, and as somebody else commented, people in work sometimes have to use them too. Outrageous that they are paid so little: the U.K. government’s so called living wage is anything but.

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    1. Hi, Anabel – That is so true about “living wages” — especially since the beginning of COVID when prices of so many essentials have insanely skyrocketed. We are in desperate need of better, lasting solutions.

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      1. Hi, Anabel – Thank you so much for adding this. I was afraid that it was just me who felt this way. In early 2020, I was so full of hope that we would emerge from the pandemic holding dear important life lessons. Although I would love to say that this could still happen, daily the news beats all such hope out of me.

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  11. All it takes are a couple of bad breaks, and any of us could end up homeless and hungry. Any program that helps people find work and feel good about themselves needs to be supported.

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    1. Thanks, Peter – You’ve hit the nail on the head. You have succinctly highlighted something that is too often ignored. “With just a couple of bad breaks, ANY of us could end up homeless and hungry.” Treating others like we would wish to be treated makes common sense.

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  12. What an amazing event. People have certainly gotten creative in this time of social distancing. I appreciate the tips on how each of us can help, especially the first one–acknowledge others, smile and greet people who are living an experience different than our own. Thanks Donna.

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    1. Hi, Christie – I was mindblown by Krista’s tip — especially the first one. They are so simple, so easy to do, and cost nothing. This event was incredibly powerful and has caused me much rethinking.

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  13. Hey Donna! What a wonderful way to help others AND receive a thoughtful and memorable item in return. I love that form of reciprocity! And so much more fulfilling than just writing a check to help feed those less fortunate. Hmmmm…I am wondering if there is a way that we might do something similar where we live? And if you hear of other events like this when we will be in town, please keep them in mind for us okay? ~Kathy

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    1. Hi, Kathy – I am sure that there are similar events all over. I believe that Krista will hold similar talks to continue to share her message. I will keep an eye out for what she’s offering this August (which is fast approaching)! 😀

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  14. I love that ceramic bowl, Donna! Such a fantastic initiative to support a good cause and get a meal out of it. 🙂 I really enjoy these monthly posts and I appreciate you always making them a tad more special, combining a good cause, outdoor activity, or other slant to it.

    Our meals have been pretty boring recently. We’ve been so busy and consumed by other things that most of our meals are “afterthoughts”. Basically, get some healthy food in us and move on. Next week might be more exciting. 🙂 Cheers!

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – Thank you for your feedback on this monthly series. Co-hosting a linkup is new to both Deb and me so it’s a bit trial and error. With your busy, on the go lifestyle, I totally get that your meals are currently afterthoughts. I am impressed that you manage to keep them healthy. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Donna, this sounded familiar and I double checked. It is indeed the soup kitchen that my sister has cooked at for a long time. She has volunteered the entire way through the pandemic. It’s interesting because one thinks of that area of VI as fairly affluent but obviously there are big holes. Sad to say that the rich mostly don’t care while the middle class pick up and help out. Thanks for the info about the link to the documentary and for hosting.

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    1. Hi, Bernie – It truly is a small world. When you are next speaking to your sister, please thank her for me. The volunteer work that she does is so important. Like many places, Vancouver Island has many people who are currently experiencing homelessness and hunger. In our smaller town, the homeless are often hidden in wooded areas which unfortunately keeps the concern out of the forefront of our thinking. I am grateful to people like Krista, and your sister, who are striving to make a true difference.

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  16. Hi Donna, The soup, the bowl, the documentary and your words are all beautiful. Thank you for sharing this and the “how best to help” recommendations.

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  17. An inspiring endeavour: such a creative way to raise funds & awareness!
    I love your reflection: Food brings us together. It celebrates our culture, reflects our individuality, builds community and inspires our gratitude.”

    Like

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