Red Deerians had the chance to support The Mustard Seed while eating some of the best soup in the city.
The non-profit Christian organization hosted its first-ever Bowls for Bellies soup cook-off Sunday afternoon, in support of school lunch and hot meal programs.
“There were 300 bowls painted by local kids in the schools that receive the school lunch program. Everybody here gets a bowl with their ticket purchase and then there are 15 different restaurants competing for best soup in the city,” said Jillian Vukovich, event organizer.
The 15 restaurants participating were: The Hideout, ABC Country Restaurant, Bo’s Bar and Grill, The Hybrid, OJ’s, State and Main, Elephant Castle, Meeting Waters, Sweet Capone’s, Famosa, Westlake Grill / Heritage Ranch, Stem’s Café, Las Pameras, Brown’s Social House and La Casa Pergola.
State and Main’s spicy Thai coconut chicken soup was the cook-off winner, receiving the “Bowly Grail.”
Vukovich said she felt like this is an event people would want to attend.
“I’ve been to different kinds of cook-offs before and … I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for a long time. Soup is a fairly inexpensive ask and it’s a good time of year for it.”
With The Mustard Seed filled with people, Vukovich said she was elated to see how popular the event was.
“I’ve been trying not to cry for the last hour. It’s very overwhelming, very exciting. I’m thrilled with the turnout for in the first year, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”
Byron Bradley, The Mustard Seed managing director, said events like Bowls for Bellies are “crucial” for the organization.
“With the school lunch program, we’re seeing a rise in the need within the community. It really does take the whole community to take care of our most vulnerable,” said Bradley.
Bradley said he was happy to see so many people come out to Sunday’s event.
“We’re just so thrilled to see all these local businesses come out and support The Mustard Seed,” he said.
The school lunch program provides over 56,000 lunches annually to students in 32 Red Deer schools.
For more information on The Mustard Seed, visit www.theseed.ca.