Soup's On: Groton Community Meals Hosts First Soup-a-Thon

Groton Community Meals is taking the phrase “soup kitchen” to a new level, hosting their first-ever Soup-a-Thon on Friday, November 3 at 6PM at the Groton Elks Club.

The Soup-a-Thon will feature an assortment of soups from local restaurants and chefs, including Ocean Blue Catering, Valentino’s Restaurant, Sneekers Café, Par 4, and Groton Community Meals’ own Rob Lawrence, a retired chef and Navy veteran. Guests will enjoy 10 samples, along with light hors d’oeuvres, and vote on their favorites to honor the winning chef.

The event begins with a “Paint Your Own Soup Bowl” class, where participants will be given supplies and guided through the process to customize a soup bowl of their own. Guests can take part in both the class and the soup tasting, which follows at 7PM, or just the tasting.

Every Monday, the Groton-based non-profit serves a variety of dishes to satisfy diners from Groton and surrounding towns, from Mackerel casserole to Cajun rice, fruit salad to slices of cake. But no matter the menu, a comforting bowl of soup is always featured.

Ellen Lawrence, a Ledyard resident, has volunteered for Groton Community Meals for three years, and currently serves as Chair of the Board. “What started as filling a need has become a fun night of good food and community,” says Lawrence of the Monday meal services. The Soup-a-thon will raise funds for fresh ingredients to supplement the non-perishable supplies received from the Gemma Moran United Way Labor Food Center and other sources. “When you’re married to a chef, food is a big deal. And hunger is a basic need we can all understand, regardless of our own circumstances.”

Groton Community Meals has recently begun to expand its outreach efforts, boosting its Facebook presence, re-designing its website, and attracting new volunteers.

Mason Glass, 22, is a student at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, studying social work. He has volunteered for two weeks at Groton Community Meals, and says he enjoys making a difference for a deserving cause. “It’s just right to help people out,” says Glass, as he checked in over 100 guests while volunteering at the October 23 meal service.

The Soup-a-Thon will be held at the Groton Elks Club at 6PM on November 3. Groton Community Meals wishes to thank Chelsea Groton Bank for its support of this event. For more information, visit

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About Groton Community Meals:
Groton Community Meals (GCM) is an all-volunteer, independent organization that serves free meals on Monday nights from 6:00-7:00pm at the Groton Senior Center every Monday night that the center is open. The mission is to provide a free meal program for those seeking fellowship and nourishment. GCM is managed by an 11-person volunteer Board of Directors. All donations to the organization are used in their entirety to purchase food, paper goods, cleaning supplies and mandatory licensing and certifications necessary to operate meal sites.