Soup’s On

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Photography by JAMISON MOSLEY | Shot on location at CANTINA LAREDO

   Little Rock boasts some of the most talented chefs and restaurateurs. From creole cuisine at The Faded Rose to timeless classics at Trio’s Restaurant, the Capital City celebrates this culinary diversity and rich heritage of our community. Since 1983, Arkansas Advocates for Children & Families has rallied these experts for a food fundraiser that generates critical support for the organization’s mission: ensuring that all children and families have the resources and opportunities to lead healthy, productive lives.

   width= Soup Sunday returns later this month and showcases some of the best fare in the 501 area code. At Cantina Laredo, General Manager Chris Lane polishes ladles and buffs the pots and pans with great enthusiasm for this iconic event. With a tenure spanning more than a decade, it’s no surprise Cantina Laredo will be recognized as the featured restaurant for their continued support and excellent creations each year. Chris looks forward to the homecoming, “Whether I’m greeting longtime patrons of my restaurant, meeting new friends, or interacting with other business owners, I am always guaranteed to have a great time.”

   The “souper” casual, family-friendly afternoon is greeted with great anticipation. This inclusive environment reflects the organization’s vision and values. AACF Development Director Fran Carter shares, “Over the last 45 years AACF’s work has contributed to numerous policy changes that have significantly improved the lives of children and families. In addition to promoting the adoption of better public policies, AACF fights against public policies that create or worsen economic and racial inequalities and outcomes for children and families. This includes preventing tax cuts that undermine revenue adequacy and exacerbate racial inequity; preventing attempts to cut funding for critical programs; and fighting against attempts to limit eligibility or access to critical safety net programs.” With proceeds benefitting these initiatives, there are plenty of reasons to buy a ticket now and ready your muffin tin.

   Fran and Chris agree that this kind of community change is more effective with AACF and its team of dedicated and knowledgeable constituents. Fran notes, “Our staff and board are committed to these values of making Arkansas a place where every child and family can thrive. Our policy team members are experts in their field, and they do the work every day to provide research, data and recommendations that will make our state work better for all its people.” Soup Sunday provides a great opportunity to meet these ambassadors, learn more about the most timely issues and enjoy some delicious dishes. Chris adds, “All the hard-working people that come together is what makes Soup Sunday a unique experience. There is always a great selection of auction prizes and a variety of soups for every palate!”

   Chris reveals the inspiration for Cantina Laredo’s featured soup is a twist on a few favorites. “We decided to create a vegetable pozole and a Southwestern cream-based chicken chipotle blend.” This soup, alongside more than 30 other restaurants offering soups, will help generate necessary funding for continued advocacy efforts – providing more children with ample opportunity to become healthy, productive adults. Fran affirms, “As long as our state has one of the nation’s highest child poverty rates, and as long as huge racial disparities persist in children’s outcomes, we will fight for policy reforms for kids.” 

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