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D91’s Souper Bowl collects more than 144,000 cans of food

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IDAHO FALLS — A local canned food drive fueled by high school students has been a major source of support for local charities.

“I think it’s come to rival some of the other big canned food drives in the area,” Idaho Falls School District 91 spokeswoman Margaret Wimborne said.

D91’s Souper Bowl competition between Skyline and Idaho Falls high schools has gathered more than 144,000 cans of food. Students at Skyline collected 100,297 cans of food. The Post Register reports Idaho Falls High School collected 44,400 items and Emerson Alternative High School contributed 830 items.

All of the food collected goes to the Community Food Basket of Idaho Falls. Wimborne said students also raised funds for the Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen, and the City of Refuge.

Community Food Basket Director Bud Langerak said more than 31 percent of meals delivered last year came from the donations of Souper Bowl.

“In 2016 they generated 163,000 meals out of the food that they donated and the money,” Langerak said.

Langerak said 100 percent of the money donated from canned food drive goes toward food.

“We make a commitment to the schools that all of the money they give us as well is spent strictly on food. We do not use any of that for our overhead, or warehouse or anything like that,” Langerak said.

Kaaren Parsons, the director of the Soup Kitchen, said last year’s funds helped provide a lot of quality meals.

“(It) really allowed us to expand the groceries that we buy, for preparing the meals at the soup kitchen,” Parsons said. “Everything is because of volunteers and donations — so we just really appreciate it.”

Langerak said it’s great to have students actively involved in giving back to the community.

“We’re just really excited that we have students in the community that want to be a part of this kind of outreach,” Langerak said.

If people missed the Souper Bowl the Community Food Basket and Soup Kitchen still take donations year round.

“If people are inspired by what our students have done and would like to contribute we would encourage them to drop food off,” Wimborne said.

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