Monthly Archives: January 2013
Not many of us can say we did something for 20 years, but at Roadrunner Food Bank, Souper Bowl has become a tradition. This annual soup and dessert sampling event started out very small. In its first year in the early 1990’s, it had only a few participating restaurants and only a couple hundred guests. Some say it started out in a local mall, others in what used to be known as Wild Oats (now Whole Foods). In fact, there is only one staff person here are the Food Bank that has been to almost all 20 Souper Bowl’s. Melody Wattenbarger, the Food Bank’s President and CEO. She has been here since the third Souper Bowl. It is wonderful that an event such as Souper Bowl has continued to entertain guests year after year and with so many new faces coming to the event 20 years later! Either way, Souper Bowl has turned into a community wide event, and for a good cause…feeding hungry people in our state. Throughout the years, many different restaurants have attended the event trying to attain the coveted “Souper Bowl Champion” award. And this year, was no different. A record number of restaurants participated, 47 of them in fact, providing soup and desserts to more than 1,300 guests.
I spend a great deal of time thinking about what motivates people to do things. Since I supervise people (seven of them at the moment), I find it helpful to understand what drives them to the excellence I see all of the time here at the food bank. Also, people in nonprofits really need to understand motivation because the willingness of our donors to give their time, talent, food and money literally keeps the food bank’s lights on and our doors open. If people aren’t motivated to give generously, we literally can’t function. I read a surprising, eclectic mix of books to try to get a handle on motivation. I have read about climbing Mt. Everest, about winning repeatedly in the Olympics, about being adrift in a dingy on the ocean, about being the first person to explore a new continent, about jumping out of airplanes, about participating in high risk medical experiments and many other things that have never and will never be part of my real life. For me it all finally came together in a coherent theory when I read Daniel Pink’s book Drive.
When I was in college, I never dreamed that I would end up in a career as a professional fundraiser. To be completely honest, I didn’t know that that profession even existed. I thought I would be an attorney, and had big plans to go on to law school after graduation. I took a year off to study for the LSAT and took a job as a legal secretary at a law firm to get a feel for what the profession of law was all about. After a few months of working as a legal secretary, I realized that being an attorney wasn’t for me. I realized that it took a long time to make real social change through the legal system and I didn’t know if I had the patience for that. I wanted to be part of something that was greater than myself… to make an impact and create social change for the better TODAY, not years from now. Eight years after graduation, I now find myself in a position that does just that, albeit in an indirect way. My job as a fundraiser is fulfilling in many ways. It allows me to spread the word about the amazing work that Roadrunner does and be a voice and advocate for a forgotten and voiceless community… the hungry people living throughout New Mexico. My job as a fundraiser allows me to dispel myths (and there are many) about who is hungry and communicate the devastating and long lasting effects of hunger on a person and community. My job as a fundraiser allows me to inspire others to give a portion of their hard-earned income to help feed our hungry neighbors and create a better more vibrant community. This is perhaps the most interesting and challenging aspect of my work as a fundraiser. I have often wondered what it is that motivates people to give away their hard earned money for little or nothing in return, and a big part of my job is to figure out just that.
The 2013 Souper Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, January 26th from 11 am to 2 pm at Roadrunner Food Bank. We anticipate more than 40 restaurants participating this year. Thanks to the generous support of participating restaurants, our sponsors and guests are able to enjoy delectable desserts and savory soups! For the past several years, more than 1,200 people come to enjoy the event. This is a special year for Souper Bowl as it is the 20th Anniversary year and we expect it to be the best event yet. As you know, the event directly supports the mission of Roadrunner Food Bank in our work to fight hunger and feed hope for hungry New Mexicans. This is an event that started off with only a few hundred people attending along with only a few restaurants with samples of soup. Over the years The Souper Bowl has become a community favorite and in past was voted “Best Charity Event” by the Weekly Alibi in Albuquerque which is a title we want to win again! There will be live music by the Peacemakers, soup and desert samples from over 40+ restaurants and also a fantastic prize drawing.
As the New Year gets started, many people are looking for ways to eat healthy and maximize their food budget. Here are 13 simple tips to help you do both in 2013: Plan – Plan your meals for the week before you head to the store. See what foods you already have and then make a list of what you need to buy (and stick to the list). Take advantage of resources like the U.S. Department of Agriculture or your local university extension office to find advice and publications on meal planning and budgeting. Research – As part of your meal planning, check newspapers and circulars for sales and coupons. Subscribe to coupon sites like www.CouponMom.com to locate coupons for specific items to help bring down your total grocery bill. Buy in bulk – It’s almost always cheaper to buy in bulk (especially items like meats and frozen vegetables). Just make sure not to buy more than you can store in your pantry and/or freezer to avoid food waste. Be creative – Look for new ways to use leftovers. Use left-over chicken in a chili or soup. Clean out the vegetable drawer and make a veggie stir fry. Throwing away food is like throwing away money! There are a number of websites that can help you find new ways to use leftovers and stretch your food dollars. Think seasonally – Buying fruits and vegetables in season can lower the cost and add to the freshness of what you serve your family. Certain foods are typically low-cost options all year. Try beans as a less expensive protein source in soups and casseroles. Carrots, greens, potatoes, apples and bananas are usually lower priced, fresh options to round out your meals. Eat those seasonal veggies – Make half your plate fruit and vegetables. Diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of some diseases, and since they’re high in fiber, they can fill you up with fewer calories than other foods. Use meat as a side – Start thinking of meat as a side dish, not the main course. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and then add meat sparingly. Big batches – Prepare a large portion of your favorite recipes and freeze them to eat later in the week. This saves time and makes you less likely to be tempted by expensive take-out on those nights you don’t feel like cooking. Small plates – Since people tend to eat what we put on our plate, starting with a smaller plate can help you with portion control and help you eat less. Eat breakfast – Your mother was right….breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives your body and brain the fuel to get started, and it can make you less likely to overeat the rest of the day. Take your lunch – Pack your lunch for work – you’ll eat better and save money (plus you can use some of those leftovers). Make a …