Soup R Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser Assists Under One Roof Food Pantry

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — The return of the annual Soup R Bowl-A-Thon to benefit the Under One Roof Food Pantry on Saturday, February 10, is expected to bring in necessary support for local families.

The food pantry, which is supported by six local churches, including Calvary Church, Cass Road Baptist Church, First Pres Maumee, First Church of Christ Scientist, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, is the only choice food pantry in Maumee, allowing families to shop for the food items they want.

According to member at large Jennifer Ziolkowski, the pantry seeks to provide food assistance for people from all zip codes.

“The food pantry distributes a week’s worth of food following the guidelines set by the Food & Drug Administration. Additionally, it supplies personal hygiene items such as toilet paper and laundry detergent,” Ziolkowski said.

There has been an increased need for food assistance and other support over the past year, she added.

After the government announced a reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for 2023, following the increases made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing need from individuals.

“The repercussions of food insecurity extend beyond immediate concerns, contributing to severe health risks such as heart disease and obesity,” Ziolkowski explained. “The inadequate access to nutritious food adversely impacts the developmental well-being of children. It’s crucial to recognize that these consequences affect not only individuals but also have broader implications for the community as a whole.”

The fundraiser helps make it possible for the pantry to provide access to nutritious food for families across the area.

Last year, the Soup R Bowl-A-Thon raised more than $18,000 for the pantry, according to Ziolkowski; however, the food expenditures for the year surpassed $24,000.

“It’s taking more and more to keep up with the demand,” added volunteer Jane Music. “Each month, we’re bringing in more families to the pantry.”

The increasing need means the pantry is always seeking monetary support from the community, in addition to donations of much-needed items.

Canned goods and other nonperishable foods, along with personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, deodorant, laundry detergent and toilet paper, are welcomed donations as well.

Through the Soup R Bowl-A-Thon, the pantry will host a raffle and silent auction, with a variety of items to entice community members.

Ticket packages to a variety of area sporting events will be a part of the raffles and auction, including tickets for the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Toledo Walleye and Toledo Mud Hens, The University of Toledo women’s basketball team and Bowling Green State University’s men’s basketball team.

Additionally, autographed sports memorabilia from Justin Fields, Moritz Seider, Marcus Freeman, Greg Pruitt, Alan Trammell and Dan Watson will be a part of the silent auction and raffles.

Community members who wish to participate in the raffles and silent auction can stop by Timbers Bowling Center at 1246 Conant St. in Maumee on Saturday, February 10, beginning at noon.

“The community is encouraged to join in the raffles and silent auction, even if they choose not to bowl,” Ziolkowski said. “We extend an invitation to everyone to come and participate, showing their support for Under One Roof Food Pantry.”

Those who are unable to attend the fundraiser can purchase $10.00 donation gift cards at Meijer on Conant Street through the Simply Give program. From now until March 30, Simply Give will benefit Under One Roof Food Pantry.

“Meijer will then double that, so you’re $10.00 will turn into $20.00 and that can help supply us with a lot of food,” Music said. “We rely totally on donations for the food we give out, so any bit helps.”

Additionally, volunteers are always welcome at the pantry, Ziolkowski noted.

“Volunteers handle phone inquiries, schedule client appointments, restock shelves, conduct weekly shopping and assist individuals visiting the pantry,” she added.

Local businesses and organizations can also contact the food pantry to select a month for a food drive to benefit the families.

More information on the food pantry can be found at stpaulsmaumee.org/789-2. The pantry can also be reached at (419) 794-0111.

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