by Jennifer Barham
What do you get when you take hundreds of pounds of butter, celery, garlic, carrots, chicken, noodles, broth, and spices and put it in the culinary hands of Nashville’s finest chefs? You get 1,500 servings of the most delicious, nourishing chicken noodle soup to give to the hungry and needy. It’s called “The Big Soup.”
Music City Center, Nashville’s convention center located in the heart of downtown, partnered with Sodexo Live! and Nestlé to craft and donate 150 gallons of soup to The Nashville Food Project last week, benefiting over 20 local community groups.
Nashville Executive Chef Max Knoepfel and Nestlé Professional Chef Allan Gazaway led the efforts of planning, preparing, and preserving the soup in the Music City Center kitchen. The facility’s expert culinary team assisted with the massive undertaking. Nestlé contributed seven cases of base ingredients and Music City Center provided the remainder, along with bowls and spoons. The 30 five-gallon buckets used to transport the soup were picked up by The Nashville Food Project.
If you want to see the quick start-to-finish enterprise, you can watch it here!
This isn’t the first time the Music City Center has collaborated with the non-profit organization in “The Big Soup.” The Center’s own CEO, Charles Starks, believes in the mission of alleviating hunger in Nashville and feels fortunate to be able to make a difference for the second time in as many years. “We are extremely fortunate to partner with such amazing organizations and give back to our community in this way,” he states. “By combining our talents and resources, we’re able to better serve our neighbors in need, and we’re proud to do so.”
And the feeling is mutual. The Nashville Food Project relies on the generosity and goodness of local donors to fund and fuel their mission. “Every day, we work to ensure all of our neighbors have access to the food they want and need,” said The Nashville Food Project Chef and Director of Meals Bianca Morton. “Thanks to Music City Center, Sodexo Live!, and Nestlé, we can share good food with thousands across our city.”
Here's a little more information about all the companies and organizations involved in providing nourishment and love to over 150,000 hungry Nashvillians.
About The Nashville Food Project
The Nashville Food Project exists to bring people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in Nashville. They do that in three primary ways:
- In their gardens, they grow organic food intensively and share resources with others interested in growing their own food.
- In their kitchens, they use recovered, donated and garden-grown food to prepare and cook made-from-scratch meals.
- In their community, they share nourishing meals in partnership with local poverty-disrupting nonprofits and community groups.
About the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation empowers its employees around the world to join forces, engage their teams and fight hunger in their local communities through service, skilled volunteerism, fundraising and activities that go beyond food aid. The Foundation, as part of its ongoing mission to stamp out child hunger, identifies underserved cities across the US, in need of support, and find alignment between existing, successful service offerings and communities in need. In fact, the foundation distributed over 4,100,000 meals during 2020.
About the Music City Center
Located in downtown Nashville, Music City Center (MCC) is a 2.1 million square foot convention center with more than 353,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, two ballrooms, 60 meeting rooms, and a covered parking garage with 1,800 spaces. The mission of MCC is to create significant economic benefit for the greater Nashville area, while focusing on community inclusion, sustainability, and exceptional customer service, through conventions, trade shows, and community events.
Photo via Sodexo