Cassie Baldauf, Special to The Mountain Mail
“As a community, you have raised $5,000 to fund seven projects,” Jimmy Sellars told those gathered at the Salida Soup event Wednesday at the Salida SteamPlant ballroom.
“You’ve sponsored some amazing programs that have affected thousands of people. Thank you.”
Sellars and Mark Monroe coordinate the monthly Salida Soup gathering, which includes homemade soup and a potluck meal along with typically three presentations for projects that benefit the community. Diners’ votes decide which of the three takes home the “soup pot” of funds that evening.
The eighth consecutive event Wednesday was called “Feed the Future” and benefited the Salida Soup project itself, helping to cover costs of event logistics.
Sellars and Monroe shared some updates on the future of Salida Soup. They said they are working with other area organizations to increase the soup pot funds, which so far have been between $250 and $600 at each event.
All seven previous grant recipients are now listed on the website sellarsprojectspace.com/salida-soup/. The community can check up on the projects and continue to contribute financially if desired, Sellars said.
Future grant recipients will now have 1 month of free access to the Salida Business Incubator, where Sellars Project Space has recently relocated.
Monroe and Sellars also introduced a few new projects they are working on. Salida Shares will be a network of urban and rural gardens dedicated to sharing the overflow of fresh produce grown in backyard gardens. The project will work with the Hive Cooperative, a new mini housing co-op and community center in Salida. They are also planning a wheelchair garden that will have elevated garden beds.
Roberta Smith gave an update on Mindfulness in the Jail, which received funding from two previous Salida Soup events. The women’s portion of the program that uses yoga and emotional education is going strong, Smith said.
“The women are moved by your generosity,” she added. Smith read thank you notes from the women. One read, “We are grateful the community cares about us.”
The next Salida Soup will be Feb. 18 at the SteamPlant ballroom. Those wishing to participate are asked to take $5 and a potluck item to share. The Maverick Potter will have specialty Salida Soup bowls available to purchase for $20, which will include the $5 admission. Three new project presenters are scheduled to share.
To apply to present an idea at a future Salida Soup, visit sellarsprojectspace.com/submit-to-present.