Jamie and Lynn Klein, husband and wife co-founders of Soup Kitchen, Inc., have found a way to end world hunger.
If you think that is an impossible feat, think again! People in the Food Bank/Pantry industry are dumbfounded no one previously came up with the Kleins' idea.
The concept: for every portion Soup Kitchen, Inc. sells, an additional portion is donated to a Food Bank or homeless shelter in the zip code where the initial portion was purchased. Put simpler by Jamie Klein, "Every portion you eat goes to feed someone else too."
For 20 years, Jamie was a professional chef working in restaurants and catering for Hollywood movie sets and private parties. After working tirelessly over the course of two years doing catering for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, Jamie found that he wanted a change.
One would imagine that a chef would want his own restaurant or catering company, but Jamie didn't. He asked himself, "Why did I get so good at doing this if it's not what I really want to do?" His next thought was, "I just want to feed hungry people."
That thought led to Soup Kitchen, Inc.
"The path was so clear, I trusted I was supposed to step into it," says Jamie. His wife Lynn jumped on board without hesitation, "I understood the passion immediately," she adds.
"Why soup?" I asked.
"Well, soup is good food," Jamie joked, referencing the famous commercials. "At its purest, soup is just vegetables and water." In the last two years, Jamie and Lynn have single-handedly prepared soup and packed, labeled and provided 20,000 portions to various food banks.
Bonnie Weigel, President of Food Share, Inc. of Ventura County, California, is a proud champion of Soup Kitchen, Inc. Of the Kleins, she says, "Jamie and Lynn recognize 'the power of small.' They're empowering the collective union of us all by knowing 'small acts' make a difference and you don't need to have a million dollars to help feed the hungry. The movement they've started is beginning to catch on."
She continues, "Imagine if you were to take their concept and do it with grocery shopping, where for every bag of food purchased, a second bag was donated. There would be no more hunger."
Pepsi Co. is currently sponsoring The Pepsi Refresh Project. Each month, individuals, businesses and non-profits send ideas to Pepsi that are designed to make an impact across various categories. The general public votes for the ideas, and the top two winners receive a $250,000 grant from the company.
Soup Kitchen, Inc. has entered the contest and is currently 28th out of 729 entries.
Please join me in helping the Kleins achieve their goal of being one of the top two ideas by voting for them once a day, every day, between now and February 28th, 2010. The first link below will lead you to a webpage where you can vote. The webpage also includes an outline of what the Kleins intend to do with the $250,000 grant if they receive it.
The Kleins are sure we can end world hunger. Let's help them do it!
To vote for Soup Kitchen, Inc. in The Pepsi Refresh Project (once a day, every day!), please click here
For the Soup Kitchen, Inc. website, click here.
For information on Food Share, Inc., click here.
Follow Paul Katz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PaulKatz9