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Getting to Know Your Neighbor’s Favorite Soup

Volunteers with S.T.A.R.S. made and served a variety of soups at Eleanor’s community soup luncheon. Shown above, from left to right, are Eleanor Councilwoman and S.T.A.R.S. service and community chairwoman Teresa Harmon; Cindy Noffsinger, director of S.T.A.R.S.; and Debbie Martin, S.T.A.R.S. secretary.

There’s nothing like soup on a cold day, and guests at Eleanor’s community soup luncheon had six varieties from which to choose. The event, which was held on Saturday, February 25, at the Eleanor Town Hall, featured potato soup, chicken tortilla soup, cheeseburger paradise soup, chili, chicken dumpling soup, and vegetable beef soup, as well as desserts and drinks.

This marks Eleanor’s third community soup luncheon, with the first one being held in February of 2019, and the second one being held in 2020, right before the COVID shutdown brought everything to a halt. This year’s event provided Eleanor residents an opportunity to enjoy fellowshipping with each other and learning their neighbors’ favorite soups. Around 60 people attended this year’s luncheon.

Volunteers with S.T.A.R.S. (Stand Together for A Risen Savior) made and served the soups and helped with set up and clean up. The community soup lunch was first organized in 2019 by S.T.A.R.S., a local Christian community service organization. S.T.A.R.S. proposed the idea for the event to the town, which was approved by Mayor Cam Clendenin.

S.T.A.R.S. was originally started in the early 2000’s by a coalition of teen and adult volunteers from all around Putnam County. The organization works alongside the Good News Clubs in the schools, and supports local food pantries, clothing banks, addiction recovery programs, and women’s shelters.

The soup luncheon is one of several events which the town of Eleanor will be helping organize this year. Later this spring, there will be a free pancake breakfast and Easter Egg hunt, as well as the Putnam County Food Truck Festival at the Eleanor Park. The summer will bring movie nights to the pool, and a town picnic – the first one since 2019 – is scheduled for the fall. This will also be the second year for the town’s community yard sales, which will be held in May and October.

When Cam Clendenin as elected in 2018, one of his goals was bringing more community events to Eleanor. “When COVID hit, we had to do everything we could to keep people apart, but now we want to bring people together,” he said.

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