3330 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14214 (716) 836-7660                                                                                                           Community Soup

What is Community Soup? 

Click here for the Community Soup brochure.   Printable version.

Click here for the Community Soup application.

The Soup Grant is a grassroots model for funding small projects through community meals.  A group of people come together to share a meal at an affordable price.  All income from the meal is given as a grant to support a project to benefit the Buffalo community.  Everyone who purchases a meal has one vote to decide who gets the grant.

Why are we doing it?

Many worthwhile projects require minimal funding, which does not warrant going through the complicated process of applying to foundations and government agencies.  Or a project may need seed money.

We are eager to engage young people in developing projects to benefit the community. In doing so, they will expand their skills by writing and presenting their proposals and eventually implementing projects if funded.

Community Soup, while raising money, also serves as a way to build community and to allow networking among attendees. Community Soup is a series of dinners to provide micro-grants to fund projects.


What is the meal format?


Attendees arrive at 5:00 p.m., entering University Presbyterian Church through the parking lot door and going downstairs to Reid Hall and paying the $5.00 cost of the dinner. All ages are invited to attend and vote.  Project proposals are limited to young people ages 15-25.

There will be a brief introduction to the soup program.

Guests will be invited to introduce themselves to others at their table. The meal will consist of soup (a vegan option will be provided), salad, bread and butter, dessert, and water and soft drinks. 

Project presentations will be made over dessert. Each presentation will be no more than four minutes, with four minutes for Q&A.  Normally, there will be no more than four presentations at any soup event.

Attendees will vote, votes will be tallied, and the award will be made.

Eventually, previous grantees will report on their projects.


What kind of projects can be funded?

  • Can be accomplished with $300-$600.
  • Will benefit the City of Buffalo or its residents.
  • Are proposed and conducted by individuals or groups of young people ages 15-25 sponsored by a community entity (faculty adviser, school, community organization).

It is up to those proposing the project to make the case for the benefit to the community, so the nature of the projects can be widely varied.

Some examples that have occurred to the organizers of Community Soup are as follows:

  • Providing health education to senior citizens
  • Recording oral histories of a segment of the community
  • Teaching English to refugees
  • Painting a mural in or on a building

These are just examples — creativity is encouraged!

Application Process

The application is intentionally simple and includes applicant name(s), sponsoring entity, applicant e-mail, 
project title, project summary, benefit to the Buffalo community, project time frame, how you will use the Soup Grant toward the realization of your project, what you will learn from the project, and how you will share the progress/completion of your project at an upcoming soup meeting.

The application can be found at www.upcbuffalo.org. Proposals are due two weeks before the soup event (by Sunday at 11:59 p.m.).  E-mail them to Lee Ann Grace at laghhupc@roadrunner.com.

If you are selected to present your proposal, you will receive an e-mail one week before with instructions. 

Presentations are limited to four minutes.  Use of audiovisual aids (Power Point, Prezi, props) is strongly encouraged.  A four-minute Q&A will follow each presentation.

2017-2018 Community Soup Events

Events will take place on Sunday evening, 5:00-7:00 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, corner of Main Street and Niagara Falls Boulevard in Buffalo, across from the South Campus Metro station.


The November 5 Community Soup event is cancelled, due to lack of proposals.  Watch this space for news of a revised Community Soup program.

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