|Youth of First Presbyterian in Hastings at|
a workshop comparing inner and outer beauty
The math and the money weren’t working out. That’s what 30 youth of First Presbyterian Church in Hastings, Nebraska, were finding out as they wheeled their shopping carts through the supermarket aisles. Each had hoped to raise raise enough money to feed a family of four for a week. By carrying cooking utensils about before Sunday services and placing a soup kettle on the Communion table, they had raised $3,500—about $120 each.
The students had been carefully instructed by their leaders and an extension nutritionist about food prices and the type and volume of food a family of four would need.
Armed with calculators, family profiles, and grocery lists, they came to the checkout stands. As the groceries were rung up, they realized how little could be purchased for $120. Most were going to have to return at least a third of the items in their carts. They contemplated the sad task of returning food to the shelves, realizing that their good intentions had run into the harsh reality of poverty. Thankfully, they didn’t have to return the food. The deacons and elders had pledged to cover the difference, so that each family would receive a full cart’s worth of groceries.
Since that experience, the youth have made a commitment to eight countywide agencies fighting hunger. They ask, “Shouldn’t feeding the hungry be a commitment for all Christians?” Indeed!
The Souper Bowl of Caring began in South Carolina in 1990 and at First Presbyterian in Hastings in 1998. The event has expanded this national day of fun into a day of faith as well.
—Rev. Dr. Bill Nottage-Tacey, First Presbyterian Church, Hastings, Nebraska