A local family's fundraising event 'Swim for Soup' brought in thousands of dollars for the School Lunch Program at Soup's On. 

Nick Funk says when his kids Mason and Ainsley were younger, they noticed that some of their peers didn't have lunch at school and wanted to do something. 

“There were a number of kids showing up every day hungry, didn't have breakfast, have no lunch and it is really just not fair for these kids to be in this situation. We saw Soup's On doing this great thing with their School Lunch Program and thought, this would be a great way to support this.” 

First Funk says they helped the kids set up a lemonade stand to raise money, and they’ve been working on a few different initiatives since.

A woman and two kids smile at a subject off cameraBack in 2017, Mason and Ainsley first connected with Soup's On by holding a fundraiser lemonade stand. Photo credit: Soup's On.

In the last few years, when possible, they’ve settled on an event called ‘Swim for Soup’. 

“Basically, the event is a whole bunch of friends getting together, we rent the pool in town here and we spend an hour and a half hanging out and swimming and mostly it is parents standing back and watching the kids play.” 

Funk says he and his wife Nicole cover the cost of the pool rental and then “we invite everybody to come out for free with the hope and expectation that they can contribute to the cause.” 

It turns out the initiative is a successful one. Funk notes this year the family was able to collect over $12,000. 

Joy Neufeld from Soup’s On says she received the funds on Monday. She notes this sort of money will go a long way. 

“We are able to put together a lunch for a child in elementary so, obviously, not eating quite as much as an older students, but we can put together a good nutritious lunch for an elementary school student for about $1.75 to $1.85. Even if we say $2 a lunch, that is going to supply lunches for 6,000 children.” 

Above all, Neufeld says she loves seeing kids getting involved in the community. 

“It tugs at my heartstrings. These are children reaching out to their peers and even if the parents give them some encouragement along the way, the bottom line is the kids get excited about it and they say 'let's do this', so hats off to Mason and Ainsley!”