After 25 years as a restaurateur and caterer Suzy DeYoung began to feel the need to change the trajectory of her clientele. And so she gained a new sense of purpose by redistributing catering food overages to those in need. Then in 2014, she made a huge leap of faith when she sold her ownership in her company to her sister and officially launched La Soupe. For most of the first year, La Soupe was a small soupe shack cooking for a few people in need and rescuing 100 pounds of produce a week. After scrolling through Facebook one morning she came across a post from a teacher at Oyler School in Lower Price Hill:
“Oyler School is out of food to send home in weekend power packs for the children. That means many of our kids do not eat from the time they are released from school on Friday, until they return to school on Monday. This is not an exaggeration. I personally know of several children who were given six meals throughout the day today, because they starved all weekend, plus the snow day. One girl was too weak to climb the steps. I carried her, put her in a desk, and had to administer the state standardized test. I have 136 students. 11 have coats. The rest are cold and all are hungry.”
Suzy went into action and loaded all the food from La Soupe and headed to Oyler. She set up a row of tables and every kid at school got a healthy meal to take home that day. That day marked the true start of La Soupe and Suzy’s calling in the community. Rescue – Transform – Share became her guiding mantra and mission for the future of La Soupe.
Bridging the gap between food waste and hunger by rescuing otherwise wasted perishable food to create delicious and highly-nutritious meals for food insecure. Since their inception in 2014, they have rescued over 2 million lbs. of food and distributed more than 1.2 million servings.
• La Soupe has raised $4.8 million of its $5 million goal, but grew their physical operations In May, 2020 when they moved from 900 sq. ft. to over 10,000 sq. ft. at their Walnut Hills location.
• Unprecedented growth. La Soupe has experienced a 119% increase (758,453 vs. 345,907) in the amount of food they have rescued September, 2020 vs. September, 2019 and have grown their servings produced in that same timeframe from 224,329 to 502,329, or a 124% increase. And, since their inception, they have rescued 2 million lbs. of food from going to waste!
• Their Share Partner network (with the help of our Community Kitchen efforts) grew from 64 to over 100 so far in 2020.
• The Community Kitchen program has paid over 16 restaurants since the end of March and they have produced 401,120 servings (102,531 meals) and have provided a reliable resource of food directly to 70 agencies, with the primary recipients being Cincinnati Public Schools, Care Closet (NKY Schools), Episcopal Retirement Services, CAIN (Churches Active in the North Side), Shelterhouse, and Roll Hill Community Center. This program is averaging about 20,000 meals/week. They are in Phase 3 of this effort and have raised $275,000 of our $450,000 goal.
Helping the most vulnerable in our community. There are plenty of food rescue organizations around the country, but La Soupe sets itself apart by utilizing a chef driven model. La Soupe understands that most people do not know how to prepare meals from such a wide variety of ingredients. Our chefs have been trained to handle this situation and our share partners love the meals they receive.
While La Soupe operates on a 85/15 model which means they give away 85% of their soupes and offer 15% for retail, it’s not enough to balance the budget.
Consider lending the final ingredient for success — your gift. Our $1,000 donation is going towards the Community Kitchen operation to help pay the restaurant partners. Please consider helping us support this Best Ever Cause by donating at the link below.