Local groups support VISTO Souper Bowl

Jan. 25—Local groups are working with VISTO to help combat hunger in our community.

Both 4-H and First Christian Church are hosting events as part of the Souper Bowl of Caring, an annual drive each year that uses the hype of the NFL Super Bowl to bring attention to food scarcity in local communities.

Cooke County 4-H groups have already started collecting donations, which will be brought to VISTO on Feb. 1. They also encourage people to bring more donations that morning between 9 a.m. and noon.

"4-H Club is collecting foods specifically geared for the backpack buddy program," said Bekki Jones, the director of VISTO. "Including peanut butter crackers, small cans with protein, fruit, pudding cups, oatmeal packets and things like that."

The backpack buddy program is how VISTO helps provide food to kids in need on the weekends when they are not in school. Each week, kids in the program take home a backpack of food.

Currently, there are 917 kids receiving food through the backpack buddy program at 13 Cooke County schools.

"The County Council, the older 4-H members, are the leaders and they are the leaders," said Janice Williams, a volunteer with Cooke County 4-H. "The council officers are looking for support from the community ... Everybody who brings food by, we'll weigh it to get a cumulative total."

The 4-H group has been tied with VISTO for many years. The members have hosted a similar Souper Bowl Food drive for the past three years and have been a monthly volunteer delivering backpacks to Edison Elementary.

First Christian Church (FCC) is also preparing for a Souper Bowl of Caring Soup Lunch, which will be hosted on Feb. 12 from 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. This annual lunch has helped raise money for VISTO since 2008 with a variety of soups to sample."

"[FCC] does a monetary donation because we can purchase food inexpensively through our partnership with Tarrant Area Food Bank out of Fort Worth," said Jones.

The Souper Bowl of Caring began in 1990 and has become a national event encouraging people to give back and help their local charities.

Go to www.vistohelps.com for more information.