Ladling up community spirit, one bowl at a time.
WRITTEN BY ANN LINDEMANN
PHOTO BY GINA MUNDA
Joining together hardworking locals for a delicious and affordable meal, the Community Soup Night Series is a beloved tradition in the Tahoe-Truckee community.
As Jessie Phillips, president of Slow Food Lake Tahoe, explains, the event started in 2008 with Incline Village-based Project MANA, a hunger-relief agency.
“Basically, it’s bringing people together to feed each other during tough times,” Phillips says.
By 2013, the event series had morphed to address other community business needs. Slow Food Lake Tahoe — whose mission is to educate the community about healthy, local food — and the Tahoe Food Hub — a local food distribution nonprofit organization — came together to put a new twist on the community meal concept.
“Before, it was held at the community center, and all the food and labor were brought in,” Phillips says. “Now it’s a collaboration to support local businesses during the Tahoe shoulder seasons, offering fresh, affordable, and delicious meals made from local and sustainably sourced ingredients.”
Stirring up support
Past restaurant hosts have included Red Truck, FiftyFifty Brewing Co., Full Belly Deli, and Mellow Fellow, all in Truckee. The cost is $5 for a bowl of thoughtfully prepared soup and bread. At each event, you’ll also find a vegetarian soup offering, as well as a side salad for a small extra charge.
Sponsors Slow Food Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Food Hub work with local organizations Project MANA, the Family Resource Center of Truckee, and the North Tahoe Family Resource Center in Kings Beach to provide those in need with wooden tokens for complimentary meals.
The upcoming spring event series restaurant hosts will be FiftyFifty Brewing Co. on March 15 and Full Belly Deli on March 29.
“The events happen in the shoulder seasons in late fall and spring, when businesses experience a bit of a lull in foot traffic between busy seasons and holidays,” explains Tricia Geary, Slow Food Lake Tahoe volunteer coordinator.
Proceeds cover the costs and expenses for these delicious community gatherings and promote Slow Food Lake Tahoe and Tahoe Food Hub’s initiatives to educate and reconnect the local community with a sustainable and regional food system.
“It really is a celebration of local food, local businesses, and local people,” Phillips says. “The events always are well attended, and we try to have live music, so you’ll be hearing beats as you walk through the door. There’s usually a great raffle as well. And it definitely is family friendly!”
Lake Tahoe-based writer Ann Lindemann looks forward to sharing a tasty meal with friends and neighbors at the next Community Soup Night.
For details on the spring event series, visit www.Slowfoodlaketahoe.org/community-soup-night