Tuesday, April 5 should be marked as a national holiday. It was the return of Soup and Bread lunch at the College of Wooster. The Soup and Bread program, with the motto “eat simply so others can simply eat”, donates $3 of each meal swipe to local food pantries and hunger prevention agencies. Having served Wooster students and the surrounding community for 40+ years, even offering virtual “soup days” and directing individuals where to donate during COVID, Soup and Bread is a Wooster tradition and may be one of the best programs that Wooster offers. However, I feel that the recent return of soup days did not get the recognition or popularity from the student body that it deserved. Soup and Bread makes it easy to impact the local community, simply show up and eat a warm, friendly bowl of soup.
The best pre-COVID soup days were double soup days. On double soup Wednesdays, we could get both lunch and dinner in Kittredge, with a portion of the cost of each meal donated. Even better, the soup dinner had some of the most delectable grilled cheeses I have ever tasted. Although I typically prefer to eat my lunch alone and away from crowds, there is something about the community of Soup and Bread that makes me want to share the experience, even more so if it is happening twice in a day. I can remember dragging the cross country team with me to Soup and Bread after a cold winter base run and enjoying good conversations as the soup warms us up. The Lowry dining hall cannot compete with the simple joy of enjoying soup and grilled cheese with friends. Soup warms not just the bowl, but your heart.
Regardless, the Soup and Bread program does not get the credit it deserves, nor the popularity. Why does the line for Oma Gourd take 30 minutes to get through and the line for noontime Knowlton stretch around to professors’ offices, but in all the years I have gone to soup the wait is short? Oma may take longer to prepare and Knowlton may be a classic go-to, but these dining options offer the same appeal as soup and bread. Alternate dining options offer a break from the mundane cycle of Lowry lunches and crown of the dining hall. Part of the appeal of Oma Gourd or The Curry Pot (despite the fact that the food is delicious) is that it is different from what is usually offered at Wooster. Soup and Bread not only offers a break from the usual Low meal, but offers a wonderful way to connect with other students and the Wooster community. Soup and Bread brings people together around a common cause to foster a sense of community. As one of my favorite experiences that Wooster has to offer, I implore you to eat more soup.