Souper Supper helps feed needy families


By JUSTIN WIER

jwier@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

Some people don’t have more than a little bowl of soup and a slice of bread to eat.

Deb Fuller, treasurer of the Austintown Council of PTAs, said that’s what Thursday’s ninth annual Souper Supper at Austintown Fitch High School represented.

The event, organized by the Council of PTAs, provides patrons with a bowl of soup and a slice of bread. Patrons also have the option of purchasing a handmade ceramic bowl made by students in the Fitch art department. The proceeds go toward needy families in the Austintown schools.

Fuller said the event provided for 25 to 30 families last year, and the PTA generally provides $50 to $75 food vouchers for use in grocery stores.

“We like to give them a nice-size food voucher, not just a $20 voucher,” she said.

Chris Berni, principal of Fitch High School, said the Council of PTAs has a heart for all kids in the school system.

“They bring a light to things going on in society,” he said. “Especially things that affect our families.”

Everything is donated, so the revenue is all profit. This year, Christopher Bonacci of Christopher's at the End of the Tunnel provided vegetable, cream of potato and chicken and rice soups.

Diane Devine, the clay and ceramics art instructor at Fitch, had her students make the bowls. She said in past years they made all bowls the same color, but this year she let her students run wild.

“It’s kind of fun to see what the kids come up with,” she said. “Some kids didn’t want to give them back.”

William Young was there with his daughter Jenna, who attends Austintown Elementary. He said she enjoyed picking out a bowl, and he hopes she will participate in the program when she’s in high school.

“Any time you can engage the students in authentic learning that’s going to benefit the community, everybody wins,” Young said.

Superintendent Vince Colaluca said because there have been nine Souper Suppers, and he now has nine bowls. He praised the Council of PTAs for getting everyone to collaborate.

“It really does teach kids about empathy,” he said. “It’s a great program.”

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