Salvation Army combats food poverty with soup drive this winter

To ward off food poverty this winter, the Salvation Army is putting its trust in a tried and tested staple of the money-conscious kitchen: soup. 

The charity is asking supporters to eat soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner from July 29 to August 4, raising $100,000 in the process.

The “Souperhero” campaign follows a Salvation Army study that found struggling families have as little as $17 every day on which to survive. 

Salvation Army captain Craig Wood said financial constraints left some no choice but to skip meals. 

“May parents would rather go without food themselves than send their kids to school on an empty stomach,” he said.

Because eating was an activity often shared with other people, those unable to afford a feed were often deprived of social interaction, an important safeguard against mental illness, Mr Wood said.  

A hot bowl of soup during the winter months was not only a cheaper option that other meals, it could provide their clients the sustenance they needed to carry on, he said. 

Food poverty was a growing problem in the Bendigo area, Salvation Army staff said today, explaining the problem worsened mid-year when people scrimped to afford their utility bills. 

People unwilling to take on an entirely soup diet can still participate by hosting fundraisers in their workplace or community organisation. 

Children are encouraged to swap one daily meal for a bowl of soup.

Donations raised by participants will be put towards the Salvation Army’s relief efforts, which includes providing food and clothing to those who could not otherwise afford it.

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