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Soup-tasting event will raise money for the Center for Food Equity in Medicine

Soup for the Soul, a soup-tasting event featuring about 20 chefs for a fundraiser for the Center for Food Equity in Medicine (CFFEIM), will be held at the Flossmoor Community House in Flossmoor on Monday, Feb. 19, from 5 to 9 p.m. 

CFFEIM is a nonprofit organization that provides nutritional support to families dealing with cancer and other life-altering health conditions.

Maureen Mader, owner of Dunning’s Market and Deli in downtown Flossmoor, is organizing the event. The Flossmoor Community House at 847 Hutchison Road is owned by the Flossmoor Community Church across the street at 2218 Hutchison Road. Center for Food Equity in Medicine operates from the basement of the church. 

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“There are currently five local chefs, six [other] suburban chefs and four city chefs. We are waiting on the commitment for a few others from the city,” Mader said, describing those who will be making the soups at Soup for the Soul.

The chefs will make the soups before the event. Attendees will sample each soup at set-up tables. If the sample is enjoyed, an attendee will be able to buy and take home more of the soup.

There will be beer donated by Flossmoor Station, wine, bread, desserts and a DJ, Mader said. 

Mader said she got the idea for Soup for the Soul from Chef Won Kim, owner of the south side Chicago restaurant Kimski and one of her collaborators at downtown Flossmoor’s annual Battle of the Chefs. Kim will be one of the chefs serving soup.

“I stole this entire idea from Won Kim who does an event in the city very similar,” Mader said. “What better way to raise some money than to give hot soup in the middle of winter?”

“We want you to be able to fight for your life and not for your food,” said Dr. Ann Jackson, the founder and executive director of the Center for Food Equity in Medicine, describing the goal of the organization. “Often when you’re going through cancer care or if you get diagnosed with heart disease or you’ve got a loved one with sickle cell disease then […] the person or persons are not able to work at full capacity.”

Jackson said that every third Saturday of the month, volunteers with the Center for Food Equity deliver food to about 45 families in the Chicago area – many of whom are referred to the center by the hospital where they or their loved ones are receiving treatment. She said other clients are supported by the Center for Food Equity with monthly gift cards to purchase food. The Center for Food Equity sets up community pop-ups that Jackson described as “almost like a farmers market” where participants receive fruits, vegetables and spices.

The Center for Food Equity has helped with the inventory at the food assistance sites at Ingalls Hospital in Flossmoor, Tinley Park and Harvey. 

“When people are sick, one of the best ways for them to heal is proper nutrition. And there are so many people that don’t have access to proper nutrition,” Mader said. “Being in the food industry for as many years as I’ve been in the food industry, if I can help Ann [Jackson] to facilitate that then I’m all for it.”

Soup for the Soul tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door or from a link provided on the Dunning’s website.

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