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September 25, 2018

United Way Stone Soup Luncheon Celebrates 10 Years of Fighting Hunger


FULTON, NY – Ten years ago United Way of Greater Oswego County introduced the legend of Stone Soup.

Committee members and sponsors for the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s 10th Annual Stone Soup Luncheon meet to discuss plans for this year’s event. From left are: United Way intern Alyssa Barret of SUNY Oswego, United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath, Marion Ciciarelli of Oswego Health, Helen Hoefer of Catholic Charities of Oswego County and Shawn Seale of Key Bank.

Committee members and sponsors for the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s 10th Annual Stone Soup Luncheon meet to discuss plans for this year’s event. From left are: United Way intern Alyssa Barret of SUNY Oswego, United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath, Marion Ciciarelli of Oswego Health, Helen Hoefer of Catholic Charities of Oswego County and Shawn Seale of Key Bank.

Dating back to the early 1800s the Stone Soup story tells of a traveler who added a small stone to a pot of boiling water; soon villagers each began adding whatever meager amounts of vegetables, spices or meats they had on hand.

In the end, a pot of boiling water that began with the addition of one small stone became a delicious soup that provided an ample supply of food for the entire village.

Since its inception in 2005, the United Way’s Stone Soup Luncheon has provided much needed support to food pantries throughout Oswego County.

Stone Soup luncheons have raised more than $12,000 and supplied food pantries with countless boxes of non-perishable food contributions.

As a result, this United Way community initiative has had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of hungry families and individuals in Oswego County.

“We are humbled by the support and contributions we have received from businesses and community members over the years,” said United Way Resource Development Director Ali McGrath. “Many of the business and volunteers that made our very first Stone Soup possible are still with us today and are once again anxious to help us fill the shelves of our local food pantries. Each year we have been fortunate to establish new collaborations with business and volunteers that truly care about helping others.”

This year’s United Way Stone Soup Luncheon will be held November 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Parish Center, 240 W. First St., Oswego.

Once again, student volunteers from SUNY Oswego will be an important part of the luncheon.

United Way intern Alyssa Barrett has been helping to coordinate and organize the Stone Soup Luncheon and a new collaboration with SUNY Oswego will provide an ample volunteer force.

“We have partnered with a SUNY Oswego Service Learning class that requires students in the course to complete 30 volunteer hours at a local non-profit or charitable organization. The students will join with other community volunteers in preparing and serving food as well as set up prior to, and clean-up following, the luncheon. The involvement of students from SUNY Oswego and encouraging students to gather with other community members will help to further raise awareness of hunger in Oswego County and the challenges that our food pantries face in meeting the increasing demand for food subsidy,” said McGrath.

The menu for this year’s Stone Soup Luncheon will include a variety of hearty soups, including old favorites from past luncheons as well as some tasty new recipes from additional restaurants that are contributing to this year’s luncheon.

The luncheon is open to the public.

United Way will be accepting a donation of $5 per person and those attending are urged to bring a donation of non-perishable food items.

Those unable to attend the luncheon but would like to make a donation may contact the United Way of Greater Oswego County’s office at 315-593-1900.

All proceeds from the United Way’s Stone Soup Luncheon, as well as the food that is collected, will be donated to local food pantries including Human Concerns Center, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Salvation Army of Oswego County, and the Hannibal Food Pantry.

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