D211 Post: Schaumburg Culinary Students Hold 14th Annual Charity Soup Lunch

Students from Schaumburg High School’s Chemistry of Foods class prepare to serve during the 14th annual charity soup kitchen fundraiser Dec. 8.

The culinary arts department at Schaumburg High School was converted to a festively decorated soup kitchen as students and staff held their 14th annual charity soup lunch Dec. 8.  For a small donation of non-perishable food items participants were treated to a variety of soups and pastries all prepared by SHS students.

            Kerry Frost, a teacher in Schaumburg’s Family and Consumer Science Department said the annual event is a favorite of many people throughout the school.

            “We have people asking when the soup kitchen is as soon as the school year starts,” she said.

            The event is designed to raise food for the school’s Magic Closet and Blessings in a Backpack.  These organizations are designed to provide students in need with food and school supplies.  Frost said the annual event collects the most items for both school charities. 

            According to Frost, there had been discussion of moving the event to a later time, but it was decided to keep the event paired with the holiday theme.

            “Everybody seems to be more charitable this time of year,” she said.

            Junior Sarah Gorman agrees with Frost’s belief.  She volunteered to help because it combined her passion for cooking with her love of giving back.

            “I helped last year and really loved it,” Gorman said.  “It felt like a great way to give back.”

            Gorman said her family has a tradition of giving back whenever they can and this was just another way for her to do just that.

            Though basic planning for the event began in August, Frost said a lot of the work began on Monday.  For the past week, students in the chemistry of foods classes worked to prepare 57 gallons of soup as well as 240 dinner rolls and a variety of baked goods.

Veronica Campbell, a sophomore at Schaumburg High School, serves soup during the 14th annual charity soup kitchen fundraiser Dec. 8.

            Frost said food and monetary donations from the Illinois Farm Bureau and Get Fresh Produce contributed greatly reduce the cost to host the event.

            Throughout the day, students served more than 200 guests which included staff and alumni of Schaumburg High School

            Mack Baxter, a social studies teacher and self-proclaimed soup connoisseur said he looks forward to this event every year.

            “It’s a lot of fun,” he said.  “I make it an annual thing.”

Mack Baxter, a social studies teacher at Schaumburg High School, and Stephanie Crespo, a media center teacher’s aid at Schaumburg High School sample various soups during the 14th annual charity soup kitchen fundraiser at Schaumburg High School Dec. 8.

Schaumburg High School Chemistry of Foods and P.I.E. Students Prep for Annual Charity Soup Lunch

Guests line up during last year's soup lunch to try various homemade soups. Some already knew their favorite, while others saved room to try as many as possible.

Guests line up during last year’s soup lunch to try various homemade soups. Some already knew their favorite, while others saved room to try as many as possible.

Students in Schaumburg High School’s Chemistry of Foods and Practices in Entrepreneurship (P.I.E.) are preparing for the 10th Annual Charity Soup Lunch.

The soup lunch will take place on Dec. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Attendees are asked to donate five or more “approved,” non-perishable food donations for the Blessings in a Backpack project or a gift card for clothing/household necessities to be donated to the SHS Magic Closet will be collected in exchange for a bottomless soup.

Selections include Cream of Chicken w/ Wild Rice, French Onion, Creamy Mushroom, Pasta e Fagioli, Loaded Potato, Split Pea, Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper, New England clam chowder, Spinach Tortellini and Turkey Tortilla.  There will also be trays of fresh baked dinner rolls, zucchini, focaccia and Italian breads, cookies, lemon bars and brownies.  Drink selections include iced tea, lemonade and coffee.

In the past nine years, approximately 2,300 items have been donated to Toys-4-Tots (pre- 2009), Elgin Community Crisis Center (pre-2013) and the Magic Closet.  More than 200 guests have attended the event in each of the last six years. The size of the event and the amount of food to be prepared allows students in Fashion classes to challenge themselves with the task to transform the classrooms into a “Winter Wonderland.”

For the past 5 years, the Department of Agriculture has awarded the event a grant that pays for a large majority of food ingredients purchased. In exchange, students in the Chemistry of Foods classes participate in a unit on small farming and sustainability, as well as study food safety throughout our food chain.  Flyers and handouts will be provided to lunch-goers on how they can get involved in the “small food” movement.

The Charity Soup Lunch is made possible through the Chemistry of Foods class, P.I.E Class, Fashion classes, FCCLA fashion and culinary chapters, teachers, Kerry Frost (FCS), Michele Hensley (Science), Emily Wydra (FCS) and Joe Carey (Business), FCCLA sponsor and Fashion teacher, Linda Serafini (FCS) and all other FCS department members at SHS.

For more information, please contact Kerry Frost at kfrost@d211.org.