Food for body and soul

by Steve Pomplon, Director of Service at NDP

stone soupStone Soup Day is an annual event at NDP. And while most of the world might scoff at the idea of consuming something called Stone Soup, at Hampton Lane it is a hallowed meal.

In the fading light of crisp November evenings one might find NDP students and parents, with varying degrees of mindfulness and haste, perusing the produce and canned goods aisles of the grocery store as they fulfill their advisory’s shopping list for this special day.

Somewhat mystically, very few know the recipe used to create what is known as the Stone Soup. As they shop, students and parents alike might wonder: “What is there to be made with just a chopped onion? A can of broth?” Resounds a loud answer on Stone Soup Day: “Much can be done when we work together!”soup

With each student’s individual contribution, Mr. Jeff Goethals creates a soup many alumnae will attest as being one of their all-time favorites. Transformation, thus, happens when we not only realize our own ingredient but also realize the ingredients of others. Much like the folk-tale for which the day is named, all at NDP celebrate the power of solidarity when we make Stone Soup.

Our symbolic soup provides more than just sustenance, it provides a platform for change: eating the soup physically connects us, buying the soup raises charitable funds, and meditating on the soup encourages justice.

Each year, in the spirit of Stone Soup, NDP invites a speaker to connect our community with the greater world. Students, before they taste the soup, are able to hear about where their efforts are directed – be it chopping, buying, or praying.

CHarles Fishman
New York Times bestselling author Charles Fishman

big thirst 2In 2014, NDP is honored to host investigative journalist Charles Fishman, author of The Big Thirst. Water, by many accounts, is one of the most important topics of our time, yet in America, it is hidden in the mundane of our day-to-day existence: streaming from our taps, flushing down our toilets, powering our electricity.

luggin water
For some, the walk for water is a daily occurrence.

While many have the luxury of keeping water hidden because it is so available, an alarming percentage of people on the Earth today experience water as a crisis. Countless masses wake to the struggle of acquiring adequate drinking water for the day. Countless young women spend their days fetching water for their families, forgoing education to make the multi-hour trek to water.

So, in many ways,  comes full circle in 2014. Within earshot of the elemental bubbling of boiling pots of soup, we pause to consider how all of creation can have access to clean water. We direct our thoughts, energies, and creativity to a growing world issue, melting the barriers between us and them, here and there, possibility and reality.h2o

Students, nourished with soup and information alike, will enter Thanksgiving Break with the task of finding a beneficiary for the event. With the aid of teachers and friends, NDP students will research, vet, and put forth organizations worthy of support. Upon our return from break, the community will vote to award the estimated $2,000-3,000 revenue from soup sales to one of these transformative organizations.

Not a bad yield for such a simple recipe.

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