Founded in Calgary in 2009, Soup Sisters is a non-profit charitable social enterprise dedicated to providing comfort to women and children and youth recovering from abuse through the making, sharing and donating soup.

The Victoria chapter began in 2011.

“If you think about how nurturing a bowl of soup is,”  explained Soup Sister Volunteer Christie Ulmer “I and, you know, just going into the freezer in the [Victoria Women’s] Transition House, and being able to have a bowl of soup together…our founder, Susan Hampton in Calgary calls it, ?a hug in a bowl.?”

And the women and children of Victoria Women’s Transition House (VWTH) are grateful.

Elizabeth O’Brien, from VWTH says that the women and children “are often dealing with so many different issues, and just processing the emotions that come with experiencing trauma, and so, to have a bowl of homemade, nourishing soup that they know has been made by the community, with love, means the world to these women.

“Especially if they don’t have many resources or time, or don’t feel safe shopping in a public place.”

Anyone can be a Soup Sister and a Broth Brother.

You can simply register to join the group at one of the soup-making sessions, which take place at Camosun College’s Interurban Campus once a month.

“It?s such a exciting thing for us to be doing” says the College’s Culinary Arts Director Steve Walker-Duncan.

“Camosun really is embedded in the community, and this is just one of those community exercises that makes us all feel good ? knowing that we?re doing something really good for people that need it.”

Soup Sisters offers this event once a month on a Wednesday, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. for up to 24 people.

“It?s a great teambuilding event! We?ve had birthday parties, we?ve had rotary clubs,” says Ulmer.

Each volunteer paid $55 to be part of the evening.

Walker-Duncan says the money “Goes to the cost of the ingredients for the soup, a glass of wine or two, the dinner, the staff that are on hand here, and then a portion of that goes to Soup Sisters to facilitate their organization as well.”

You can register here to volunteer as a Soup Sister or a Broth Brother.

Veronica Cooper