Soup for the Soul

Global Alumni Network Coordinator

A Chicago Peace Fellow, Annamaria Leon, worked with her colleagues in the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council to successfully provide food to neighbors in need as COVID-19 soars. The project, Soup for the Soul, tries to achieve more than just food provision. Instead, the project seeks to gather more people to expand interpersonal connections and resource sharing opportunities for different needs.

“If we didn't have COVID, we would gather people at big farm tables to have soup and interact with each other­. Because that's how you impact violence, it is through one-on-one relations.” -- Annamaria Leon, Chicago Peace Fellow

The project has raised more than half of the goal amount required and is already benefiting hundreds of neighbors in need.


Annamaria co-founded Homan Grown to follow her passion in gardening, a chance she had seized after being laid off from work. To reinvent herself after losing her job, Annamaria studied sustainable horticulture, agriculture and earned certification in permaculture. She also worked for a landscaping company prior to collaborating with her husband in forming Homan Grown.

As part of the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, Annamaria brings to the table holistic permaculture principles to design community driven social change. Fair share, people care, and earth care, are among the permaculture principles that inspire Annamaria’s paradigm.


As Annamaria explained in our recent call, “The first step we do when taking on any project is to alter how people see the world. People act in accordance with how the world occurs to them. If your reality is that there is not enough and it is dangerous, people will start acting to protect themselves and to complain that they don't have what they need. When you can alter how the world occurs to them, there is abundance, there is community, there is connection. All of a sudden, I can look at you and not be afraid of you. I can ask you for what I need and even start sharing with you. The first thing is to begin that communication, and to begin altering the way the world occurs for one another.”

“The ripples created by each Fellow in the normal sea of life is causing an interference that changes and transforms status quo. Seeing all these interferences from each of the Goldin Global Fellow is definitely why I am so excited to be a Chicago Peace Fellow and part of Goldin Institute.” –- Annamaria Leon

Related Articles
  • img
    Mutual Aid Collaborative - January 19, 2021
    Peace Fellows Jamila Trimuel, Dawn Hodges and David Gonzalez continue to innovate and share to get families on the South Side of Chicago the food and support they need during the COVID pandemic.
  • img
    Chicago Peace Fellows - January 08, 2021
    Chicago Peace Fellow Robin Cline invites your support as the team at NeighborSpace launches a campaign to add 100 garden beds in communities across Chicago.
  • img
    Chicago Peace Fellows - December 04, 2020
    What I’ve learned in 14 years of running a non-profit is that philanthropy is one of the most racist sectors of society, competing neck and neck with the criminal justice, education and the health care systems in America.
  • img
    Chicago Peace Fellows - December 02, 2020
    Chicago Peace Fellows launched the Mutual Aid Collaborative as a model of shared leadership, collaborative decision-making and collective action to support our communities through the twin epidemics of COVID-19 and violence.