A simple prayer: "Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat" is inspiring a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world.

This prayer, delivered by Brad Smith, then a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, gave birth to an idea. Why not use Super Bowl weekend, a time when people come together for football and fun, to also unify the nation for a higher good: collecting dollars and canned food for the needy? Youth could collect donations at their schools and churches in soup pots, and then send every dollar DIRECTLY to a local charity of THEIR choice.

The senior high youth of Spring Valley Presbyterian liked the idea so much they decided to invite other area churches to join the team. Twenty-two Columbia churches participated that first year, reporting their results so a total could be determined, and then sending all $5,700 they had raised to area non-profits.

That was 1990. Since then, ordinary young people have generated an extraordinary more than $90 million for soup kitchens, food banks and other charities in communities across the country. In addition, hundreds of thousands of youth have experienced for themselves the joy and satisfaction of giving and serving, inspiring people of all ages to follow their generous example.


First Souper Bowl of Caring - 22 churches collect $5,700 in Columbia, South Carolina


Churches and schools from 36 states join in first national effort


Souper Bowl of Caring breaks $1 million and gains 501(c)(3) non-profit status


Founder, Rev. Dr. Brad Smith becomes first full-time staff member as Executive Director


Awarded Daily Point of Light Award by Points of Light Foundation


First NFL Owners support Souper Bowl of Caring: Bob and Janice McNair- Houston Texans


First Lady Laura Bush kicks-off Souper Bowl of Caring in Washington, DC


President George H.W. Bush becomes National Advocate


President Jimmy Carter becomes National Advocate


First official Super Bowl Host Committee Endorsement- Detroit Super Bowl XL


Inaugural Souper Bowl of Caring Greater Houston Food Drive collects $1.8 million in cash and cans


National total reaches $10 million in cash and food


Community Food Drive initiative expands to Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth


Founder and Executive Director Rev. Dr. Brad Smith accepts a call to become Senior Pastor at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina


Former Vice President of Communications Tracy Bender is appointed new President and CEO for Souper Bowl of Caring