Tomato mint and Tuscan tomato soup face off in DVIP’s 25th Souper Bowl

DVIP 25th Anniversary Souper Bowl Fundraiser

Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, Thursday, Feb. 24, 3-6 p.m.

A volunteer ladles soup at the Domestic Violence Intervention Program’s Souper Bowl, on Feb. 2, 2020, in Iowa City. — Jordan Sellergren/Little VillageJordan Sellergren/Little Village

This year’s Super Bowl, pitting the Los Angeles Rams against the Cincinnati Bengals, will come down to field goals and who has the best kicker, according to Alta Medea-Peters, director of community engagement for the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP). Or at least, that’s her gut feeling.

“I think the Bengals are going to win. I am a huge Bengal fan,” Medea-Peters told Little Village. “The work that that team has done to combat food insecurity and raise funds for food banks in impoverished areas of Ohio is just absolutely astounding to me. They are more than just, you know, doing the football thing. They really have a conscience about them.”

DVIP and the Bengals have two things in common: helping people in need and participating in a Super Bowl. Or in DVIP’s case, the Souper Bowl. This year’s event at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City on Thursday, Feb. 24, from 3-6 p.m., will be the nonprofit’s 25th Souper Bowl.

DVIP executive director Kristie Fortmann-Doser created the annual Souper Bowl fundraiser to help dispel the myth that more violence occurs against women in the says around the NFL Super Bowl and to bring attention to the support victims and survivors need.

“Souporters” can choose from 15 different soups donated by local restaurants. This year’s offerings include Shakespeare’s Hungarian beef stew, Tavern Blue’s French onion, Rapid Creek Cidery’s tomato mint, Reds Alehouse’s corn and bacon chowder, Big Grove Brewery’s chicken and wild Rice, Bread Garden’s classic Tuscan tomato.

There will be soups for vegetarians and vegans, as well as to-go and delivery options. Ticket holders who live within 15 miles of Big Grove can have their soup delivered during to their homes during the three-hour event.

Tickets are available online, but will only on sale until Thursday, Feb. 10.

General Souper Bowl ticket, $30: Two 8 oz cups of soup and a 25th anniversary mug.

Family of 4 package, $75: Five 8 oz cups soups and two mugs.

VIP Package, $100: Five 8 oz cups of soup with two mugs, two Big Grove Drink Tokens and special gifts, including a photo book celebrating 25 years of the Souper Bowl.

12 and up/Student, $15: One 8 oz cup of soup.

Children 12 and under can get a free ticket for a cup of soup of their choice.

All of the funds raised by ticket sales will go to support services for victims and survivors of intimate partner violence, human trafficking, stalking and harassment.The Souper Bowl raised $22,448 in 2021, and this year, DVIP’s goal is to raise $25,000 and sell at least 400 tickets.

DVIP provides emergency shelter, pet shelter, peer-to-peer counseling, education and prevention at the state and federal level, youth advocacy, a 24-hour hotline and other services to victims and survivors. It currently spans eight counties in southeast Iowa: Johnson, Iowa, Cedar, Des Moines, Henry, Lee, Van Buren and Washington counties.

“We have served over 1,900 individuals over the past year in our service region and seen an increase in hotline calls, as well as services provided,” Medea-Peters said. “In Johnson County alone, we have doubled the number of services that we have provided per individual that we serve. So the need has grown tremendously.”

Since May 2020, DVIP has seen a 20 percent increase in new hotline calls each month, Medea-Peters said. There has been a 76 percent increase in emergency shelter funding requests since October 2021. Because of COVID-19, individuals have fewer options for housing, like staying with a friend or family member. DVIP’s emergency shelter has been at full capacity throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve also seen an increase in lethality, so victims, survivors perhaps trying to make it work a little longer than normal, and the situation becoming more dire for them,” Medea-Peters explained. “When we compare year to year, it is consistently trending upward.”

In addition to participating in fundraisers like the annual Souper Bowl, anyone interested in making a donation to support DVIP’s work can do so through its website. Volunteer opportunities are also available.

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