Since 1998, USU Eastern has been serving bread and soup to the campus and community as a fund raiser for the Carbon County Food Bank. This year, over 630 patrons attended Bread ‘N Soup Night resulting in a $4,000 donation. This brings the 18-year cumulative total to $52,024.80.
“We are so appreciative of the continued community support for this worthwhile fundraiser on behalf of those less fortunate in our community,” remarked Terry Johnson, Eastern’s SUN Center Director. “Not only do these Bread ‘N Soup Nights raise much-needed funding for the Carbon County Food Bank, but they’re also a wonderful opportunity for many in our community to come together to serve, enjoy good food, and give thanks one with another,” he added.
For three consecutive Mondays in November, USU Eastern’s Dining Service, under the direction of Gillan Mills-Bishop, prepared three different home-style soups for patrons to enjoy. According to Head Chef, Chrystal Thomas, the kitchen whipped up almost 20 gallons of each variety of soup per night, amounting to about 180 total gallons of soup each week. “That’s a lot of soup!” she laughed.
Mills-Bishop makes extensive efforts to persuade vendors to donate ingredients, and he and his staff donate about 10 labor hours each Monday so that more profits might be made. “We love being a part of the community,” he notes, “and Bread ‘N Soup gives us the opportunity to be our best.”
The idea that USU Eastern would surpass the $50,000 donation goal never crossed the minds of those who began Bread ‘N Soup Night eighteen years ago. “When I first brought the concept of Bread ‘N Soup Night to campus, I never would have dreamed that we’d reach this kind of financial milestone. It’s amazing and humbling to see how far we’ve come,” said Carrie Icard, Associate Professor of English.
Icard notes that the first year she pitched the idea, the food service director turned her down flat. Several years later, personnel and opinions had changed, and with the SUN Center Director at the time, Kathy Murray, Bread ‘N Soup Night was launched in the fall of 1998.
Icard laughed when she recalled that she had to recruit her husband and campus friends to help set up tables and chairs, but even on that first night, slightly over 100 people showed up, and the College of Eastern Utah (now USU Eastern) donated $1,000.00 to the Carbon County Food Bank.
“We are indebted to so many wonderful people who have volunteered and supported Bread ‘N Soup over the years,” Icard stated, “we really mean it when we say that we couldn’t have done it without them.”
The long association between USU Eastern’s Bread ‘N Soup Night and the Carbon County Food Bank combines all the best qualities of service, joining campus and community to help those in need.