After the sudden closure of the Colorado College Community Kitchen this past October, Adison Petti from the Office of Collaborative for Community Engagement concentrated all efforts to ensure that the Kitchen’s mission would not fade.
On Thursday, Dec. 4, CC Communications announced the creation of the Soup Project at the Community Kitchen Club. The project is a collaboration between CC’s Food Coalition and Arts for Social Change Coalition.
“We had an opportunity to use everyone’s energy to figure out what to do [regarding the closure of the Community Kitchen],” said Petti. “It’s really important to me to address poverty, hunger and homelessness, so the change had to center around that.”
The Community Kitchen functioned like a traditional soup kitchen. The Soup Project provides students and guests from the CC and Colorado Springs community with a communal space to engage in food justice and arts for social change weekly.
One of the major complaints regarding the Community Kitchen was that it was no longer a successful educational effort since student participation was dwindling. The Soup Project redesigned its main goals to include educational programming, a focus on nutrition, and greater structure.
Such educational programming, according to the CC Communications announcement, will work to “address the root causes of poverty, hunger and homelessness through education, awareness, and advocacy.”
Although no longer the focus of the project, the Soup Project will continue to provide meals that will accompany the education and arts for social change efforts.
Those who choose not to participate in the activities will receive a boxed lunch to take with them for the month of December. The hope is that these boxed lunches will help the community transition to the new system.
Dave Harker, the newly appointed director of the Collaborative for Community Engagement, is currently addressing the issues that prompted the closure of the Community Kitchen, including issues of security, integrity of Shove Chapel, and the nature of the Community Kitchen.
The Soup Project, for now, will still be held at Shove Memorial Chapel despite the efforts by the initial action plan released on Nov. 16 to move the kitchen out of Shove Chapel and off campus. Dialogues are ongoing concerning a new location.
This Sunday, the Food Coalition and the Arts for Social Change Coalition will serve a meal as they have for the past 22 years.
The Soup Project is not the final effort by the Collaborative for Community Engagement; the office has also designed the Soup Project Challenge, which could fund $20,000 to a student-designed social innovation project regarding homelessness and hunger in Colorado Springs.
An information session concerning the criteria of, the application process for, and deadlines for the Soup Project Challenge will be held on Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. in the Morreale Carriage House.
For information regarding the the Soup Project, contact Adison Petti at email@example.com.