Soup Sunday Serves Soup-er Time

Photography by SARAH ODEN | Shot on Location at ALLSOPP & CHAPPLE 

Since 1977, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families has provided leadership, research and advocacy to promote reform that improves the lives of Arkansas children. In addition to protecting children’s health and fighting for early education as well as extracurricular opportunities, the organization makes its mission a reality and the roux of those funds has been Central Arkansas
Soup Sunday.

What started as a slow simmer in 1983 is now a bubbling hot annual fete showcasing the best Central Arkansas restaurants and chefs mixed with community support – all combined to bring funds and awareness to underserved children and families. J Allsopp & Chapple Executive Chef James Hale remains committed to this event and the organization. He reflects, “In my 30+plus years working in professional kitchens, I’ve had an abundance of opportunities to use my abilities to help many community organizations,” James explains. “Every single one of them is worthy and deserving, but Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families has always been near and dear to my heart, and I hope local chefs and restaurants continue to help put a spotlight on their great work.” James will be recognized as featured “soup” chef at the 42nd Soup Sunday later this month.

Arkansans of every age can enjoy Central Arkansas Soup Sunday. In addition to various soups, guests can enjoy breads, desserts and beverages as well as a silent auction, dancing. Entertainment for the kids includes a movie, coloring pages, temporary tattoos and face painting. “There will be hot dogs and chips available for children who may not be so interested in soup,” Development Director Fran Carter elaborates. “We have some volunteers from local high schools who help in that area so the kids can feel free to have a great time while their parents and their
friends socialize.”  

Fran encourages everyone to bring a muffin tin to use as a tray, instead of carrying individual soup cups. There will more than 30 different soups this year, the most ever she notes, and not just from restaurants. “Youth Home is contributing a soup, and while they aren’t a restaurant, they do provide food for the children and staff who live on their campus. Celebrating a nonprofit organization that we support who provides care to the same people we do means a lot to us.”

Whether you are one of three generations attending this year’s Central Arkansas Soup Sunday, or it’s your first year experiencing this relaxed fundraiser – you can expect fun for the entire family. “Honestly and selfishly, it doesn’t hurt a bit that Soup Sunday is just plain fun and one of my favorite events to attend,” James adds. “Going back to the days of having the event at Cajun’s Wharf to now – it’s just always a good time.”

Inviting Arkansas

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