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Professor Suzanne Marshall serves community one bowl at a time

Published July 6, 2020

Cal State Long Beach professor Dr. Suzanne Marshall wanted to give back during the coronavirus pandemic. After hearing a friend in Santa Barbara was cooking soup for seniors who were homebound because of COVID-19, she decided to join in.

Marshall said that when the campus was given the safer at home orders, she acted. "I knew that for me I’d go nuts without something meaningful to do or some way to give back,” Marshall said. “I was delighted to find something to do that gave back to my community.”  

Marshall, an associate professor in fashion merchandising and design, recruited some of her church friends in Santa Ynez to join her. They use donated produce from a local food bank to make vegetable soup and deliver it to a senior center in Buellton, and then it’s delivered or picked up from there.

When they started in March, they were making 245 quarts of soup twice a week. Eventually, the number of people in need skyrocketed to 1,000 and it was too much soup to make in their kitchens at home, she said. The group, which has grown to about 100 people, moved their operation into a commercial kitchen at a bigger church in town, and started volunteering in four-hour shifts. Now, the menu has expanded: they bake muffins, cookies and dessert bars.

“If you’re one of the lucky ones who are healthy and have a job and have food on the table, I think it’s good to spend some of your time serving humanity,” she said. 

She also has been delivering food from a local restaurant and delivering groceries to those in need in a nearby town.

Do you know a member of The Beach community who is giving back or making a difference during the COVID-19 crisis? Email Emily.holland@csulb.edu.

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