The Cadre | UPEI

Soup for the Soul: Origin & Purpose

By: Lorelei Kenny

Soup for the Soul is a mental health and healthy eating initiative, hosted by various campus and community groups at the UPEI Chaplaincy Centre three times per semester. It is a time for students and staff to come together and relax during the stressful periods of the academic year. Soup for the Soul was developed by a group of UPEI students in September of 2015, as part of a service learning project for University 203: INTRODUCTION TO LEADERSHIP STUDIES.

Soup of the Soup is a time to escape the bustle of campus, grab a healthy lunch and relax inside the peaceful walls of the Chaplaincy Centre, which is one of the only buildings on campus where interdepartmental conversation and fellowship truly takes place. It is a time to unite as a campus and continue in the fight against mental health challenges.

In the past, mostly staff groups like Alumni Association, Athletics, the Registrar’s Office, and Student Affairs have hosted Soup for the Soul. Sr. Sue, UPEI campus chaplain, says she would love to see different departments or the Student Union Executive host in the future. She encourages any club, society or group who is interested in hosting to contact her or Soup for the Soul,  “It really is a great team-building activity,” she adds.

The upcoming Soup for the Soul event is being co-hosted by student-led groups Engineers Without Borders and The Unity Project and it will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25th. “There are on average 230 bowls of soup served, with the record high of 250 bowls at a single event” says Sr. Sue. The two groups co-hosting will make the soup in the Chaplaincy Centre the morning of the event and will serve it from 11:30 am to 1 pm. A meat and vegetarian soup will be served as well as bread and water. The hosts would love for everyone to take the time sit down and eat, however, there is an option for those on the go. 

Those involved have tried to make Soup for the Soul events more sustainable by using reusable bowls and spoons to reduce garbage. They also reached out to the province, last spring, and received a donation for the creation of the SDU gardens, located on the Mount and outside the Chaplaincy Centre. The harvests from these vegetable and herb gardens are used to supply ingredients for the many soups cooked throughout the year.

Financial support is provided by PEI Health and Wellness, the UPEI SU, The Charlottetown Rotary Club and by the donations of many generous individuals, “people truly are willing and wanting to help!” says Sr. Sue.

For more information and to keep up to date with Soup of the Soul at UPEI, please visit

Facebook Page:

Twitter: @soupsoulUPEI

Instagram: @soupforthesoulupei

Be sure to use the Soup for the Soul geo filter on Snapchat on Wednesday!