Local high school students on a mission to collect 55,000 cans for needy families during 15th annual ‘Souper Bowl’
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IDAHO FALLS — The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop Skyline High School students from hosting their annual Souper Bowl food drive.
Students have been standing outside Albertson’s on Broadway and Broulim’s in Ammon since 9 a.m. asking for donations to the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket. The drive continues until 5 p.m.
“It’s been really cool to see how everyone works together for something that’s bigger than them, especially in high school,” Student body President Ashely Fransen tells EastIdahoNews.com.
This is the food drive’s 15th year and the theme for this year’s event is “Do What You CAN.” Students are hoping to collect 55,000 cans from the community.
The food drive is a friendly competition between Skyline and Idaho Falls High School and students have been planning it for months.
Fransen explained that planning began back in October.
“It always seems stressful at first but it ends up super fun,” says Fransen.
At Skyline, the student government was split into 4 committees — Schools, Neighborhood, Counting, and Businesses.
The School Committee has been making videos to send out to the schools in their area asking their students to participate in the food drive. They can bring cans into their classes, which committee members collect. Students keep track of where each class falls in line with the rest of the group. The class that gets the most donations will receive “CAN”dy bars and “CAN”s of soda to fit with this year’s theme.
The Neighborhood committee was able to get 3,000 bags donated from Albertsons, which they went and tied to doors in the community with a note asking them to donate what they could and leave it on their doorstep.
The Counting committee has been in charge of tallying boxes and assigning values to items. They get the totals of food and monetary donations and make sure the donations to the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket happen smoothly.
Finally, the Business committee, led by Student-Body Vice President Naomi Flores, have been reaching out to local businesses for cash donations or items that can be raffled off. Many businesses like Jimmy Johns, Arbys, and Teton Toyota have donated gift cards, shirts, water bottles, and over 100 other items for the cause.
Both Fransen and Flores have been happy to see the students get involved in serving the community.
“If you get enough like-minded kids who want to help out, you can do great things,” Flores said.
Every donation will go to the Idaho Falls Community Food Basket.
Idaho Falls Community Food Basket Executive Director Ariel Jackson says The Souper Bowl food drive provides about one-third of the food they will use to feed families for the whole year.
“It’s really important this year. We didn’t know if the super bowl was going to happen,” Jackson said. “It means we can continue to keep doing what we are doing.”
Though it is competition, Jackson says it’s gratifying to know that high school students are seeing they can make a difference, and it’s rewarding to watch them get a new perspective as they look at others around them.
“These high school kids are being exposed at a young age to things like volunteering and service to others,” Jackson says. “They learn to look at people a little bit differently. I think they carry it with them throughout their lives.”
If you’d like to contribute, there’s still time. Monetary or food donations can be delivered to any District 91 school until Feb 5th, or monetary donations could be made on the school’s GoFundMe page.
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