The 19th annual Soup Bowl Benefit will be held Sunday, February 17, at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center from 5 to 7 pm. One of the town’s most popular events, the fundraiser for Hoosier Hills Food Bank last year raised more than $100,000 from corporate sponsorships, private donations, and admission fees to the event.

For an admission fee of $25 ($6 for children), guests can choose from more than 600 bowls created by approximately 40 local potters. They can then fill their bowls with their choice of soup. This year’s event is being hosted by WFIU’s Joe Bourne and will feature live music from Another Round, the local college a cappella group formerly known as Straight No Chaser. Local group The Monks will also perform.

The Soup Bowl Benefit is the creation of singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer; her husband, lawyer/musician Robert Meitus; and a small group of organizers who have remained involved with the event through the years.

“Carrie and I have over thirty bowls from past events that we use each and every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in our home,” says Meitus. “These are a constant reminder of the generosity of the potters and everybody who contributes to the event—and of the very important work of Hoosier Hills Food Bank.”

The Soup Bowl Benefit provides the largest contribution to the food bank’s annual operating budget. Says Hoosier Hills’ Executive Director Julio Alonso, “I am very grateful for the support the event brings in for the food bank. It is our most important fundraiser. People really, really love the Soup Bowl—they’ve made it a family or personal tradition. The community has really embraced this event. We sell out every year.”

Six hundred and fifty people attended last year’s event, with soup, bread, and beverages contributed by 62 local restaurants, including Darn Good Soup.

“The benefit is a very fun event which raises public awareness of hunger problems in both our community and country,” says Nels Boerner, owner of Darn Good Soup. “I choose to participate because Hoosier Hills Food Bank is a fine organization whose volunteers do an amazing job. It’s a pleasure to help in whatever small way I can.”

For more information, call 334-8374 or visit their website.