Utah may not have a team in Sunday’s Super Bowl, but it is one of the top two players in the Souper Bowl of Caring, second only to Texas.
The 2014 Souper Bowl of Caring, an interfaith movement to exploit the hype of the Big Game to help the homeless and hungry, already has gathered nearly $3 million in cash and food items.
At middday Friday, the Lone Star State sat in first place with the lion’s share of donations — nearly $2.7 million reported so far. The Beehive State was second with collections topping $113,000.
Five out of the Souper Bowl’s top 10 collections are in Utah: Arby’s in Murray, St. Joseph Catholic High School in Ogden, Bountiful Communities That Care, the Catholic Diocese of Utah, and Reams Food Stores in Salt Lake City.
The Souper Bowl was born 24 year ago, when South Carolina Pastor Brad Smith was writing his prayer for that January sabbath given over to the clash of football titans. He wanted to redeem the day from its gluttony, crass commercialism and overheated competition, yet recognized that many Christians would be tuning in to the game.
“Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game,” Smith wrote, “help us be mindful of those who are without even a bowl of soup to eat.”
Smith calculated that if a fifth of the game’s 100 million viewers gave $1 each to feed the hungry, it would raise $20 million.
Since then, the Souper Bowl has, indeed, raised millions toward that goal.
There’s still time before kickoff to make a donation, though it would take a hefty last-minute blitz of giving for Utah to sack Texas and cart off the Souper Bowl trophy.
Peggy Fletcher Stack