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High schoolers buy $600 of Ramen noodles as ‘Souperbowl’ heats up

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Idaho Falls High School Junior Nick Kempkers, left, sits in back of pickup after purchasing an entire pallet of Ramen for food drive. He and his friends, right, made the purchase together. | Courtesy photos

IDAHO FALLS — It’s a 12-year tradition that’s stronger than ever.

Right now Idaho Falls High School and Skyline High School are in the middle of their Souperbowl competition – a food drive to benefit the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket.

The goal for each school is to see who can collect the most non-perishable food items or cash by the end of the week and many students are really getting into it.

Nick Kempkers, a junior at Idaho Falls High School, and his group of friends bought an entire pallet of Ramen noodles from Sam’s Club Tuesday night totaling about $600.

Nick tells they made the purchase after one of his teachers said the class could be excused from taking a final test if they donated 1,700 cans to the cause.

“She said it’s the hardest test we would take all year,” Nick says. “No one else was going to put in the money to get the cans, so we decided to do it.”

Jamyn Lott, one of Nick’s friends, contributed $250 to the purchase.

“It makes me feel really good to donate to the community and give back to people who (don’t have the means),” Jamyn says.

The school is hoping to collect 50,000 non-perishable food items or cash donations by Friday. Administrators are still counting the donations they’ve received so far, but they estimate they have around 10,000 donations.

Students at Skyline High School are ramping up this year’s competition as well.

Brianna Molina, a senior at Skyline, is on the school’s committee for the food drive. She and other committee members have been collecting donations from their classmates, members of the community, and elementary schools throughout the district.

In addition to making a donation directly, students can purchase raffle tickets for the cause. Brianna says Joey Thuearnagle, a sophomore at the school, purchased 60 tickets worth around $70 total.

Skyline is hoping to collect 70,000 cans or cash donations by this Friday. As of Wednesday, they’ve collected about 41,000 donations.

Both schools will face-off Wednesday night for a varsity boys basketball game. There will be a money blitz for those in attendance where both schools will take donations directly. The school that collects the most money throughout the night gets to throw a pie in their student body president’s face.

Skyline has won the Souperbowl competition 11 times in the last 12 years. Idaho Falls High School won in 2006.

But competition aside, Brianna says this food drive is a unifying thing for both schools.

“Even though IF is (behind), they’re still helping (the cause) and we’re united as a district.”

If you’d like to contribute to the food drive, call Skyline High School at (208) 525-7770 or Idaho Falls High School at (208) 525-7740.