Community Investments

Stone Soup volunteers prepare meals for 2,300 at local shelters

More than 150 Women United volunteers and guests came together Feb. 3, 2018, at the 7th Annual Stone Soup event. They converted thousands of dollars of groceries into meals for the hungry. In less than three hours, these enthusiastic volunteers prepared 400 casseroles and 700 bag lunches. The donated food was enough to feed 2,300 men, women, and children.  11 local shelters benefitted from the event. 

nine women preparing pasta veggie casserole at table

Women United volunteers prepare one of many pasta and veggie casseroles at the 2018 Stone Soup event.

The volunteers made lasagna, pasta & veggie casserole, and chicken mac & cheese. Brown-bag lunches filled with PB&J sandwiches and other treats were also prepared. Representatives from community agencies picked up the casseroles and lunches to provide nutritious meals for those they serve. Gratefully receiving the food were the EDMARK Hospice, H.E.R. Shelter, Samaritan House, The Genieve Shelter, YWCA of South Hampton Roads, Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, Mission United Hampton Roads, The Union Mission, Ida Barbour Early Learning Center, Portsmouth Area Resources Coalition, and The Salvation Army. 

four Stone Soup volunteers stack casseroles in racks as local shelter volunteers wait

Stone Soup volunteers made 400 casseroles and 700 brown bag lunches for 11 local shelters to pick up.

Local businesses and volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help

“Today is a great example of what happens when women leaders invest their time and financial resources to meet identified community needs,” says Women United Volunteer Chair Charity Anderson. “Today represents an ongoing collaboration between United Way and local agencies. It also highlights the importance of private sector partners. Their in-kind gifts and financial sponsorships are so important. And they also provide opportunities for their employees to give back to the community.”

Charity Andersen speaks into microphone behind lectern with facebook, instagram logos on it

Charity Anderson, Women United’s volunteer chair, addresses Stone Soup volunteers before they begin preparing meals for delivery to 11 local shelters.

“United Way works efficiently with its donors and community agencies to provide essential services, such as access to food and shelter,” says United Way President and CEO Carol McCormack. “Beyond basic needs, Women United has prioritized its funding to partner with women in creating a path to self-sufficiency and economic independence.”

Women United’s Stone Soup sponsors included The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. They once again donated space for the event. USAA invested $1,500 and provided 25 employee volunteers to prepare 300 bag lunches. Cox Communications and Kroger provided funding for supplies. Chick’s Oyster Bar donated casserole pans and lids. 

See more Stone Soup event photos at

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