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Today's Family Magazine

Youth ministry Souper Bowl event tackles hunger issue

Sixth- through twelfth-grade students involved in Builders of the Kingdom (BOK and BOKjr.) youth ministry programs at St. Gabriel Church are participating in an innovative hunger awareness fundraiser called the Souper Bowl Party on Saturday, February 2 from 4:30–7:00 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of St. Gabriel School. The party features a dinner of delicious soup, bread and salad donated by a host of area restaurants and entertainment by Mentor High School’s Top 25.  All proceeds benefit the St. Gabriel Food Pantry.

This is the 12th Annual SouperBowl event that has raised thousands of dollars for local charities.  Each year the youth select a charity to benefit.  This year’s charity selected is the St. Gabriel Food Pantry.

“It’s exciting for me to see our young people reaching out to serve and help others,” said Paul Kelly, youth faith formation director. “This is the call of Jesus, ‘to love one another as I have loved you.’ Young people want to help and this is something practical they can do.” 

The St. Gabriel Food Pantry, an agency of the Cleveland Food Bank, serves over 30,000 meals each month to Mentor, Concord and Painesville areas. Currently, it is staffed by approximately 65 volunteers.

Food item donations for St. Gabriel Food Pantry may be dropped off Monday through Friday from 10 am to 1 pm. Nonperishable items and/or cash donations can be dropped off at the parish office if the Food Pantry is closed.

“This is the 41st year that the Food Pantry has been in service to the community, starting in 1978.  It has gone from being open two days a month to its current operation of being open 5 days a week” said Chris Siemen, food pantry operations manager. “The Pantry has been able to do so and continue to serve so many only due to the amazing generosity of the St. Gabriel parish and surrounding community. The community without fail has been exceedingly wonderful in their monetary donations, and many different ministries of St. Gabriel have supported the Pantry with food drives which have led to numerous and plentiful canned and other food donations.  Without the support of St. Gabriel, the community at large and events like the Souper Bowl, the Pantry would not have been able to help as many as we have over the past 41 years.” 

Event ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for children, 5 and under eat free.  Tickets are limited and can be purchased at parish office or door at event. Call the church office at 440-352-8282 for more information.