Slow Soup Drive to tackle food waste, malnutrition and food security.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that there are many who do not have adequate access to wholesome food, especially families with low or no income. The truth is, however, that this need was there even before COVID-19 appeared.
As a response, the Slow Soup Drive was born in April 2020, organized by Slow Food Barbados, to tackle the issues of food waste, malnutrition and food security, by providing persons and families in need with hot, wholesome, nutritious and hearty soups, predominantly being made with local ingredients. This was developed on a backdrop of donations in the form of tuna tins, crackers, soft drinks, rice and pasta – almost all imported and of low nutritional value. The Slow Soup Drive pushed its community initiative that extra step further by sourcing its fresh ingredients from local farmers and actually preparing a highly nutritious soup. Just because people need help, it doesn’t mean we can’t help them properly.
24 volunteer chefs have been giving their time, alongside volunteers, in a culinary all-hands-on-deck approach. Utilizing three borrowed kitchens to deliver warm, wholesome bowls of nutrition, ONE SLOW SOUP at a time.
“The many varied soups provided, offer a nostalgic reflection of Bajan cooking and history; using ingredients such as dumplings, Yams, Eddoes and affordable cuts of meats such as cow heels, chicken backs and fish heads. Other recipes and ingredients used by creative chefs offer the knowledge of the utilization of products and ingredients available. Persons learn the soup is one of the most sustainable and budget friendly meals that can be made to feed themselves, their family and community.” – Stefon Barker, Soup Drive Operations Coordinator
Over 16,000 soups delivered
From April to September 2020, when the lack of nutritious food available peaked, over 16,000 soups were delivered to vulnerable persons in 4 parishes by amazing volunteer delivery teams of over 60 people. The Slow Soup story is truly one of community.
The initiative recognizes the important role our farmers play in co-creating a healthy food and healthcare system. Thanks to generous monetary donations, the Slow Soup Drive has been able to purchase fresh produce from local farmers, helping to secure their livelihoods and building food security.
“The Program made a difference in the lives of not only the vulnerable families but, all persons who, in any way, donated the food items, cooked the food, collected and distributed the finished soups. It alleviated the immediate need of the families and was indeed beneficial to the communities/ parishes and island as a whole as the Government of Barbados could not do it alone. It did indeed make a difference. Families were fed with nutritious meals.” – Sherryl Griffith, Chairman of Parish Independence Committee, St. Peter & Volunteer
As the island slowly turns back on, soup production has slowed but not stopped. Slow Soup Drive is still on the lookout for people or organizations who can provide assistance with funding, donations, delivery, and volunteerism.
To learn more and get involved you can get in touch by:
Instagram / Facebook: @slowfoodbarbados