Fort Wayne SOUP is hosting its first of four events in 2021 on April 22. The event will be hosted virtually on Facebook April 16 through the 22, culminating in a Facebook Live event at 8 p.m. on the 22nd to announce the winning pitch.

Fort Wayne SOUP provides a space for members of the community to pitch ideas to make our region better. The organization accepted proposals throughout February and March for innovative ideas and selected four to submit video pitches for the April 22 event.

The four presenters are:

Sarah Thompson, Forward Indiana

Forward Indiana Community Pantries and Gardens: Forward Indiana works to unite communities through awareness and action. They practice mutual aid and solidarity, not charity. The community pantries and gardens are for anyone and everyone and are accessible 24/7. 

TK Kelly, Fort Wayne Food Truck Park

Fort Wayne Food Truck Park, which will be located in southeast Fort Wayne, will connect people through food experiences and relationships. Advocates of food truck parks say they can revitalize neighborhoods, bringing business to little-visited areas and offering dining options where there once were few. Downtown is vibrant and definitely up and coming with many projects, but our neighborhoods are missing out and we need local entrepreneurs to invest themselves in these neighborhoods to build a more sustainable economic ecosystem. Fort Wayne Food Truck Park will offer year-round opportunities for entrepreneurs and the community to experience culinary options in a family friendly environment.

David Buuck, CASS Gardens

CASS Gardens is a new program and division of CASS Housing. Formed with the intent to provide meaningful work and days to adults with developmental disabilities, CASS Gardens will do this by employing current and future residents of CASS Housing to operate multiple hydroponic farms. Each farm is contained within its own 10' x 40' repurposed shipping container and runs on a combination of automation and human effort. Employees will plant, transplant, and harvest sustainably grown and pesticide-free greens, herbs, roots, and fruit to be offered to the community. They believe this will fill a much-needed hole in the employment sector for adults with developmental disabilities.

Amy Torrez, Paul’s Place

The main mission at Paul's Place: Support for Families, Inc. is to provide temporary housing for adult patients and their caregivers who travel to Fort Wayne for any type of medical treatment. They believe that a holistic approach to a patient's care greatly improves the chance to recover quickly due to less financial and emotional stress. There is also an opportunity for caregivers of cancer patients to receive basic information for oncology massage or for the caregivers to receive relaxation massages to help release emotional stress of caring for their loved one. Paul's Place: Support for Families, Inc will take care of the charges for these resources offered to the families.

Each presenter will submit a four-minute video pitch that event attendees may review beginning April 16 on Fort Wayne SOUP’s Facebook and YouTube pages. To vote, community members must purchase a $5 ticket, which will grant them access to the voting form. Visit https://fortwaynesoup.org/ to purchase.

The pitch receiving the most votes will receive all the proceeds raised through ticket sales. Proceeds go toward making the winning pitch a reality.

Fort Wayne Soup is micro-grant community event that uses crowd funding to help launch creative projects aimed to enhance Fort Wayne. To date, Fort Wayne SOUP has donated more than $27,000 to  projects that have positively impacted our community. All ages are welcome to attend and submit proposals.

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