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Fighting hunger: 25th Santa Fe Souper Bowl benefits The Food Depot

Bragging rights are on the line for 24 chefs.

And there’s a lot to celebrate during The Food Depot’s 25th signature event, The Souper Bowl.

“It is a lot of fun. The chefs engage in a friendly competition, but the bottom line is the Souper Bowl consistently raises enough monetary support each year to provide 180,000 meals to New Mexicans who don’t have enough to eat,” says Jill Dixon, development director at The Food Depot.

The Food Depot is a food bank that serves nine counties in northern New Mexico.

From its warehouse in Santa Fe, The Food Depot provides food to more than 145 nonprofit partners in Taos, Raton, Las Vegas, Los Alamos and all of the rural communities in between.

In 2018, The Food Depot provided the equivalent of more than 5 million meals to those who need it most – working families, children and seniors.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, 24 chefs will compete in the 25th Souper Bowl.

Dixon says the organization is marking the milestone in a few ways.

“Logistically, we have changed the layout of the event. We believe this will improve attendees’ experience and also give the participating restaurants the prominent positions they deserve,” she says. “We have a commemorative cookbook with a beautiful presentation of recipes and stories. We will also have a special T-shirt designed by local artist Michael Martinez available for purchase.”

Dixon says there will be a friendly competition in the lobby between two nonprofit chefs competing against each other with their soup creations.

“This is separate from the main competition,” she says. “The chef in the lobby with the most donations to their ‘pot’ will win.”

After 25 years of the event, Dixon says, there are still obstacles, but the organization learns something new each year to improve the event for all involved.

“We hope that people are drawn to the event by the combination of a compelling cause – hunger – and the opportunity to experience the culinary creations of two dozen local chefs,” she says. “While we continually work to improve the event, sticking to the simple structure of a soup competition has kept the Souper Bowl thriving for 25 years.”