Organic Soup Kitchen's 13th Anniversary Luncheon
By Bonnie Carroll
On October 25th sponsors, guests, volunteers, and supporters of the Santa Barbara Organic Soup Kitchen gathered at the Cabrillo Pavilion to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the organization, enjoy a delicious artisan luncheon, and listen to a keynote presentation on the connection between food and cancer.
The room was overflowing with guests and an army of smiling servers who gave individual care to each guest at the tables they were assigned. Centerpieces were donated and consisted of vases filled with beautiful fresh vegetables and greens. The artisan crafted luncheon consisted of healthy home style quinoa salad, green salad, rustic split pea and coconut curry lentil soup, artisan bread, baked apple strudel and handmade chocolates with a variety of beverages.
Hosts Andrea and Anthony Carroccio greeted guests and did photo set ups as people arrived, and Andrea formally welcomed everyone and invited them to enjoy the amazing artisan lunch being served. She also extended their thanks to the volunteers and generous event sponsors including Gold Sponsors Pete and Gerd Jordano, Nancy Newquist Nolan of Santa Barbara RE, Beth and Dodd Geiger; Silver Sponsors Santa Barbara Winery, The Lark, Samsara Wine Co., Topa Topa, Grassini Family Vineyards, Oat Bakery, Open Portions, World Centric, The Andersen, CenCal Health, Trader Joes, ALSCO, Sol Wave Water, Sprouts, and Home Center.
Anthony Carroccio gave the keynote presentation on The Connection Between Food and Cancer, which included a history of their journey that began with he and Andrea having a desire to just make a difference and open a soup kitchen that lead to contact with experts in the field that provided valuable knowledge, and a seed of hope and hard work that grew into an army of volunteers working together to provide soup to 800 clients a week.
Andrea and Anthony Carroccio, Organic Soup Kitchen
“This is where we landed, this is what we do best, “said Anthony Carroccio. The pandemic hit and nearly shut us down, only my wife, myself, and my son, as well as some drivers kept pushing. Currently, we are feeding 240 clients a week who are in recovery” “Cancer does not discriminate, we need to help people, we need you and your help to keep helping people.”
During the Q&A when asked if cancer patients pay for their services Carroccio explained that 94% of the Organic Soup Kitchen clients are free and the remainder pay a sliding scale. The organization has currently been offering soup for sale to the community to deal with the serious drop in funding they have experienced since the pandemic, as have so many other non-profits in our community. “
It was heartwarming to see and feel the immense love the audience had for this couple and their volunteers who have given so much to help cancer patients over the past 13 years. Many guests, including Tobias H. Hildebrand spontaneously stood up and gave testament to the great service Organic Soup Kitchen provides needy members in the Santa Barbara area.
One of the popular sayings among Organic Soup Kitchen people is one shared by Mahatma Gandhi “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service,” and obviously it’s working for this amazing group of people. Bravo to Anthony and Andrea Carroccio who shared that If you are making a contribution to a charity this year, please consider the Organic Soup Kitchen. Our clients depend on us.” For information or donations visit: www.organicsoupkitchen.org.