Soup for Sanity: Comfort In Troubled Times

by Sandra Foyt on November 5, 2010

in Uncategorized

soup_sanity3Sadly, the Capital Region is not immune to the rising anti-Muslim sentiment in America. In just the past week, the Times Union reported two different confrontations where Muslim identity played a central part in the incident. Clearly, there is a need in our community, and across the nation, to restore sanity and heal wounds.

Last weekend, a sizeable Muslim contingent gathered in Washington, DC for the “Rally for Sanity and/or Fear” organized by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Carrying homemade placards with messages such as “The 1950s called. They want their racism back.,” they brought a dash of humor to a painful situation. My favorite: “My wife is a Muslim, and Not a Terrorist, but I’m scared of her anyway.” Humor is one way to “restore sanity,” but here in the Capital Region, some residents are favoring warmth and comfort with the chicken soup cure.

Robyn Ringler and Terri Jones with Soup for Sanity display at East Line Books.

Soup for Sanity Campaign

In recent months, anti-Muslim voices have called for a boycott of Campbell’s Soup simply because the company has introduced a line of Halal soups in Canada. As comedian Stephen Colbert quips, Halal food, “It’s like Kosher, but in no way Kosher.” Ridiculous, I know, to boycott food products over the label and manufacturing process, but this movement has spurred thousands to join the boycott on Facebook.

When Terri Jones heard this, she “thought they’ve reached the point of self-parody. This is like an Onion story. But soup represents warmth and comfort. Soup gives us a chance to turn this hatred on its head and make a difference in our community.” Along with Robyn Ringler of East Line Books, they are working to:

…organize our friends, our congregations, and our businesses
and we’re going to collect soup. We’re going to collect thousands of cans
of soup, and we’re going to donate it to the Regional Food Bank to
symbolize a big warm hug for the Islamic community that has been feeling a
lot of cold hostility lately. It will be an interfaith project to show how
we can all work together to do some good regardless of our religious


How you can help:

Soup for Sanity Collection Sites:

  • East Line Books – 1714 Route 9 # 1, Clifton Park, NY 12065, (518) 371-4151.
  • Java Jazz Café – 318 Delaware Avenue Main Square Plaza, Delmar, NY, 12054, (518) 439-1727.
  • Drop off directly to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York at 965 Albany-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110, (518) 786-3691.

Note – East Line Books and Java Jazz Café plan to donate the cans of soup that they collect to the Regional Food Bank on November 17, 2010.

The Soup for Sanity Campaign invites you to start a support group in your area. For more information, visit the discussion on the Support Campbell Soup and Our Islamic Neighbor Facebook Page or send an email to


| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Terri November 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Thanks for the support, Sandra! it’s been amazing to see the pyramid of soup grow, even since this picture was taken. We’re going to help feed a lot of families with this project.

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