By Natasha Biscoe

The 20th annual Souperbowl fundraiser for the Habitat for Humanity UW-Chapter was a record breaker. Over 1,300 soup fans donated $15 to taste the soups offered by many of Madison’s local businesses and larger chains such as McDonalds and Culvers.

Souperbowl goers were provided with the delights of hearty food while enjoying live music and spirited conversation. Selecting a hand-crafted bowl made by local student artists was a fun activity, adding to the experience of the occasion. Taking it home was a bonus.

Hugh, the’Manity for Humanity’ was this year’s mascot and addition to the event, on duty to provide a photo opportunity and expand the social media profile of the chapter’s most well-established and successful fundraiser; over $20,000 was raised this year. These funds will contribute to providing a home for a local family, who described owning their own home as a “dream come true.”

Without a doubt, supporting a good cause makes people feel good, but what is it about food that makes fundraisers like these so popular and deeply rooted in tradition? Hayley, one of the student volunteers simply said, “Food is comfort.” The relaxed vibe of the event was palpable. It is a unique opportunity to be able to sit next to a stranger in the community and have an interesting conversation over good, hearty soup.

Food is familiar; it’s something that people are comfortable talking about, and conversation about flavors and recipes between foodies flows easily. The various homemade desserts available provided a perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation between bites of cappuccino cookies, including which soup was in the highest favor. The vegan tomato and chickpea proved to be some favorites.

Food plays a big role in drawing people to the annual fundraiser, which is a significant one for Habitat for Humanity’s UW-Chapter. This year’s was a definite success.

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