The Souper Bowl of Caring was started in 1990 as a grassroots program generally led by youth to tackle hunger across the United States.
“The Healthy Texas Youth Ambassador State Advisor has encouraged team members (more than 180) across the State (to take part),” Gray County 4-H Family and Community Health Coordinator Joan Gray-Soria said.
Locally, Gray County 4-H team members, Nicky Price and Tony Soria, are on the state team and want to take the challenge.
They have chosen to adopt Southside Senior Citizen Center and collect canned food items for the Center through a partnership with Pampa Ministerial Alliance.
“[We feel like] probably get overlooked a lot,” Price said.
Through the program, Price and Soria have learned about “food deserts,” including right here in Gray County.
“We were tasked with finding out where those food deserts were in Gray County,” Price said. “There were some right here in Pampa. It’s an area where they don’t have a major grocery store very close. Over by Lamar Elementary it’s considered a food desert because they only have that Allsup’s.”
Soria added that McLean and Lefors are also food deserts.
“Lefors used to have a convenience store,” Soria said. “But it’s talking about places with healthy food. There are places with fast food. So they can get food, but that food isn’t necessarily healthy or good for you.”
Making matters worse, some of those residents in the food deserts may not have a vehicle to access a grocery store across town.
Those who wish to take part in the challenge can bring canned corn, green beans, spinach, mixed vegetables and sweet potatoes to churches participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring. Churches who wish to participate can call Gray County 4-H at 806-669-8033. Donations will also be accepted at the Gray County Annex at 12125 E. Frederic Ave.
People or church members who wish to donate monetarily can do so at http://map.tacklehunger.org/donate/healthyyouth.
“We want it to be a community effort,” Gray-Soria said.
Price and Soria will also be setting up at United on Saturday, Feb. 12.
“We are hoping as people come in and see the different items on the wish list, they will buy a can or two as they are shopping and drop them off,” Gray-Soria said.
Healthy Texas Youth Ambassadors, like Soria and Price, teach on the topics of being healthy at school and public events.
“The State Healthy Texas Youth Ambassadors are a group of high school youth who participate in this state-wide organization where they teach about health and healthier lifestyles,” Soria said. “It can be on a variety of health factors like mental, physical, spiritual, financial and more.”
Price added that students who are interested are required to apply for the program and has to complete 40 hours of training in the program.
“Trainings are mandatory,” Gray-Soria said. “There are five different trainings and you have to go to all of them. If you don’t go or don’t complete the hours, you’re booted from the program.”
Soria added he had to report back to the program coordinator and participate in community service and has made presentations at civic clubs and even Walmart.
Soria has been in the program for three years and Price has been in the program for one year.
For more information Gray County 4-H, call 806-669-8033.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here