In Memoriam

February 6, 2011

Rocky: Good morning and welcome to Claremont Presbyterian Field, the site of the 2011 Souper Bowl of Caring! Alongside Adam Cave I’m Rocky Supinger, and we are anticipating a real slug-fest this morning, as two perennial powerhouses–The Claremont Presbyterians and The Hunger– square off against one another for the umpteenth time. Adam Cave, this is a storied rivalry, isn’t it?

Adam: It absolutely is, Rocky. In fact, the 2011 Souper Bowl of Caring is at least the 11th meeting between these two teams going back to the year 2000. And you don’t have to remind Hunger that The Claremont Presbyterians have got the better end of these battles the last few years. Their game plan really revolves around getting the most out of their generosity . Since 2008, the amount of money raised by the Presbyterians on Souper Bowl Sunday has increased; their 2010 total was an all-time high for them: $720. You can be sure they’ll be looking to top that today.

Rocky: I’m sure they will. And yet Hunger isn’t backing down, is it?

Adam: No it isn’t. The Los Angeles times reported in October that the poverty rate in the Inland Empire rose from 11.8% in 2007 to over 15% in 2009. Among residents of LA County that number now stands at 16.1%. Requests for emergency food aid were up an average of 24% in cities across the country last year, and those cities reported a 17% increase in the pounds of food they gave away.

Rocky: Wow. If anything, Adam, Hunger seems to be gathering strength from year-to-year. But the Claremont Presbyterians have an important weapon on their team, don’t they?

Adam: Yeah, the Presbyterians utilize a versatile weapon in their attack on Hunger: the Inland Valley Hope Partners or, as its fans call it, “IVHP.” IVHP is the total hunger-fighting package: it maintains food banks in Claremont, Pomona, San Dimas, and Ontario, where families in need can receive a five day supply of food once every 30 days.

The Presbyterians use IVHP in a number of formations: regular mission giving, weekly food donations to the red wheelbarrow in the narthex–several of the Presbyterians even volunteer their own time at IVHP’s food banks.

Rocky: But today, you expect the Presbyterians to go early and often to IVHP with a trademark move–the soup kettle.

Adam: Rocky this move is unstoppable. There’s no defense for it. As they head out the back of the sanctuary today, watch for the Presbyterians to go deep . . . into their pockets and purses and score over and over again with direct deposits into the large soup kettles that youth will be holding. Every single one of those donations goes directly to IVHP.  

Rocky: No doubt,  IVHP is a star, and the Claremont Presbyterians know it. Watch and you’ll see them waving their IVHP lunch sacks in the air, which were handed out out the door today. (I said “Waving their IVHP lunch sacks in the air!). When they eave here today, the Presbyterians will take those bags with them as a reminder that their struggle on behalf of the hungry in the Inland Valley is an every day battle.

Adam: Well it looks like the teams are ready. As always, this promises to be a hard fought battle. Hunger may have got most of the headlines this season, but if what we’ve seen from the Claremont Presbyterians the last few years is any indication, Hunger will have its hands full. Game on!

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