HOW WE’RE HELPING
How We’re Helping
In November of 2008, we started this business because we felt that the food system was broken. We had no idea what we were in for in 2020. In March of this year, the world changed. Covid-19 has upended everything we know to be true. Soupergirl was thrown – shaken to the core. Once we regained our footing, we knew it was time to help. Being labeled “essential” took on a deep meaning for us.
The first thing we set up was a hospital donation pack. We joined together with our customers to deliver thousands of units of soups and salads to front-line medical staff all over the Washington, DC area. Each week, we deliver food to: Sibley Memorial Hospital, George Washington University Hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and more. Now, we are expanding our donation program to include organizations that are feeding citizens that are experiencing food insecurity. The need will only grow, and we plan to step up and help. We’re now working with an amazing organization called Francis on the Hill (a project of Following Francis). They are working to feed members of our community who experiencing food insecurity due to the Covid-19 crisis. Each week, we’re donating soups and salads to be distributed throughout our neighborhood. To make a contribution to our food donation program, please visit our delivery page.
We next reached out to some of our local farmers. Many experienced a huge drop in sales because farmers markets drastically reduced their hours and availability. Also, many local farmers worked with local restaurants. That business disappeared overnight. In April we launched our Spring Valley Market Box delivery program. We now deliver hundreds of boxes of produce from one of our favorite local farms to neighbors all over the Washington DC metropolitan area.
We also made sure to put our team’s safety first.
We’ve set up weekly Covid-19 testing for our entire company. We’ve contracted with a local disease specialist who comes to our facilities each Tuesday to test everyone. To be clear – no one at Soupergirl has any symptoms. But based on our understanding of the available research, identifying pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers is absolutely essential to prevent an outbreak.
Additional safety measures:
– All kitchen staff have face shields and N95 masks. We also have provided standard masks and thermometers for team members and their families to use at home.
– Temperatures are taken at the start of each shift.
– All surfaces are sanitized hourly.
– Our crews have broken down into smaller teams with separate shifts to aid in social distancing efforts.
– Upon arrival, our teams change into kitchen uniforms that are washed in our own facility.
Local Delivery Team:
– Temperatures are taken at the start of every shift
– Each driver is provided with masks, wipes, gloves, and a personal bottle of hand sanitizer for their car.
– Drivers sanitize their cars at the start of each shift.
– Start times are staggered to assist with social distancing.
Additionally, we’re working with our landlords and building managers to clean and hopefully upgrade our HVAC systems to ensure proper air flow. We’ve hired a researcher to assist with the development of a full manual regarding Covid-19 safety.
Because we have remained in business during the different phases of this pandemic, the responsibility of keeping our team safe weighs heavily on us. While others have been sheltering at home, we’ve asked our crew to leave their homes, cook, deliver, and keep our company running. It is with this priority of safety in mind that locally, we have decided to keep our doors closed and offer only delivery and curbside pick up. We do not yet feel comfortable opening up our Washington, DC location to outside visitors.
Soupergirl is Sara Polon, a former stand up comedian turned soup-maker. After reading Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Sara decided to get involved in the local food movement. She thought about being a farmer, but she can’t even keep her house plants alive.
Soupermom is Marilyn Polon. She’s a home-taught master in the kitchen. She raised the Polon kids on natural, freshly cooked and delicious food. Soupermom, aka the Chief Anxiety Officer, and Soupergirl teamed up to bring locally inspired, nutritious, and delicious soup to the hungry citizens of Washington, DC, and beyond. Most recently, they were featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, NBC’s Today Show, and CBS’ The Dish!
Quite simply, every day is a good day for soup! It takes just one bowl of soup to make a meal. It’s the perfect way to easily incorporate healthy eating into your life. Worried about getting five-to-seven vegetables a day? Need to add more whole grains into your life? Soup!
We prepare soup the way it was meant to be made. From scratch and cooked slowly with love. Homemade with fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Our food system is broken. We’re trying to fix it. Soupergirl believes in real, responsible food. We support our local farming community. We compost. We treat our staff respectfully and ask the same of our vendors. We cook healthfully and our soups are plant based.
What does this long and growing list of endeavors mean? The planet wins. The consumer wins. The community wins. The farmers win. The laborers win. That’s a lot of winning. As we grow, we believe we can inspire even bigger changes. One spoonful at a time.
We can tell you, in clear conscience, that our soups are very healthy. They are chock full of fresh, local veggies, grains, beans, and other wholesome goodness. We go very light on the salt so you can season the soup as you please. But please don’t let the whole “healthful” thing scare you. The soups are really healthy, but we don’t think you’ll notice.
Sure, you can find “fresh” soup at certain stores around the area. But check out the ingredient lists of these soups – malodextrin, autolyzed yeast extract, corn syrup solids, and my favorite – xantham gum. What exactly is xantham gum? And guar gum? Isn’t Guar an extreme metal band? Did they invent gum? Is it chewy? Why is it in my soup? Our rule is simple – if you can’t pronounce something on the ingredient list, it should not be in the soup.