Sharon Hapton
Friday, 28 October 2011 00:00

From Soup Kitchen to Chatelaine

 

Calgary’s Sharon Hapton is featured in the current November issue of Chatelaine as one of that magazine’s “Red Hot Women of the Year.” (See page 138.)

She is included among an illustrious group of Canadian women for her role in starting up Soup Sisters in 2009, a volunteer group with branches across Canada that cooks tasty, nutritious soups for women and children in emergency shelters.

 

As she told the Chatelaine reporter, “A big message comes with those bowls of soup – we care and we stand up with you in the fight against domestic abuse and family violence.”

Sharon Hapton’s project was earlier celebrated on February 7, this year when she was profiled on Global Television’s Women of Vision program, leading to a March 7 luncheon at the Calgary YMCA, which honoured her and 11 other women achievers in Calgary.

The soup kitchen project got it’s start in early 2009, when as part of her birthday celebration, she thought that instead of the usual party with friends, nibbles and white wine, they should meet and cook up a batch of soup for the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. The chicken soup recipe came from Lilly Lister’s mother.

The women in the shelter enjoyed it so much they wanted more.  And the ladies who gathered that first night had a lot of fun that they wanted to do it again.

Thus was born the organization known as Soup Sisters.

Once word got out, women in other communities wanted to become involved as well.

“On some days I was getting 40-50 emails a day asking about Soup Sisters.  I dutifully wrote back to everyone.  And when a new chapter was about to open, I would go to each city for their launch,” Hapton told the Jewish Free Press on Feb. 4.

She says women not only enjoy the idea of socializing together, but if they can accomplish something worthwhile at the same time, it is even more attractive.

So why soup?

Because it’s the natural Jewish thing to do, she says.

“In our culture we are raised to help take care of people and we do that through food,” she told the JFP at the time. “I personally grew up with a soup mother and for shivas I was always used to making soups.”

 
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