• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

A big community meal for everyone to share

Annual Stone Soup Supper benefits NL Pantry
Volunteers dished up soup, salad and bread during the North Liberty Community Pantry’s 11th-annual Stone Soup Supper held at South Slope Cooperative Communication’s Community Center in North Liberty on Sunday, Oct. 27. A dozen North Liberty restaurants donated soups and other items for the community meal, the pantry’s final fundraiser event of the year.

NORTH LIBERTY– At some point it is likely you’ve heard or read the folk tale “Stone Soup.” While the characters change from sneaky charlatans to Jesuits to soldiers, the end result is the same: strangers coming together for a common meal forged through generosity.
The same theme is central to the North Liberty Community Pantry’s (NLCP) Annual Stone Soup Supper, which was held on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the South Slope Cooperative Communications Community Center, in North Liberty. At least a dozen or so North Liberty restaurants came together, much like the strangers in the folk tale, each providing one component for a large community meal. Ninety-six gallons of various soups, 24 gallons of Heyn’s Ice Cream, 10 gallons of coffee, 20 gallons of Zio Johno’s salad, plus other dessert items and merchandise for a silent auction were all gathered together for the 11th-annual meal.
North Liberty restaurants were very generous this year, Executive Director of the Pantry Kaila Rome said.
“It’s a big community meal for everyone to share,” she added. “It’s a great event to get everyone to the table together, but also a good reminder that winter is coming, and we really do rely on the community for financial support, especially toward the end of the year to make sure that our shelves stay full.”
The Soup Supper is NLCP’s final fundraiser of the year, however the pantry accepts in-kind donations of food and children’s clothing as well as financial donations throughout the year.
“We just finished our winter coat drive, and we do still have those available at the pantry for individuals that need them,” Rome said.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the pantry put out a plea via social media for canned soup, peanut butter and canned meat.
“Normally we like to post about GOOD news, but now for some not so good news. Any given week NLCP gives out 7,600 pounds of food. But nearing the end of the month, as bills come in, we significantly increase in traffic. And this week in particular, we have had more traffic than expected. We are making a call to action for those in our area to donate today, tomorrow or Thursday canned meat, peanut butter and hearty soup (our most popular items.) Help us spread the word.”
On Friday, Nov. 1, NLCP posted an update: “Our community stepped up more than we ever could have imagined. Since that post we have had a total of 1,323 POUNDS of canned soup, canned meat, and peanut butter (and more) donated.”
Sixty-two separate individuals donated for an average of 21 pounds of food per person.
“Big donations, small donations, it all goes to the amazing cause of feeding our neighbors.”
The pantry was created in 1985 as an outreach of the First United Methodist Church, in North Liberty, and saw an explosive growth in requests for assistance as the community continues to grow.
NLCP is located at 89 North Jones Blvd., in North Liberty, and accepts donations Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pantry is open for shopping from 10 a.m. until noon on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, with 3 to 6 p.m. hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The pantry is closed on Fridays and Sundays.
Calls may be made to 319-626-2711 for more information or visit https://northlibertycommunitypantry.org online.