'Souper Bowl' competition kicks off between high schools to help local food basket - East Idaho News

‘Souper Bowl’ competition kicks off between high schools to help local food basket

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IDAHO FALLS — Two rival high schools are coming together for a good cause in a friendly competition to raise money and canned food items for a local nonprofit organization.

“The Souper Bowl” has been around for nearly two decades. Skyline High School and Idaho Falls High School compete against each other each year to raise as much as they can for the Community Food Basket—Idaho Falls. The food basket, formerly known as the Idaho Falls Community Food Bank, works to meet the emergency food needs of families and individuals facing food insecurity in the greater Idaho Falls area.

Last year, Idaho Falls High School brought in 13,940 pounds of food and Skyline High School brought in 33,815 pounds of food. It was their biggest year in 17 years.

“I think my favorite part is just seeing the kids be so successful at something so big. It’s so much bigger than they are,” said Heidi Guza, a teacher at Skyline High School.

Guza told EastIdahoNews.com she has watched the competition grow significantly throughout the years.

“The very first year (we did this), all the food they collected fit in the back of one pickup truck and now we need semi-trucks,” she said. “We have had four years of collecting over 100,000 cans ourselves.”

The Souper Bowl is happening Jan. 24 through Feb. 4 and will feature several food drives at the following locations:

  • Broulims in Ammon: Jan. 21 to 22 and Jan. 28 to 29
  • Albertsons on Broadway: Jan. 21 to 22 and Jan. 28 to 29
  • Idaho Falls High School students will be at the 17th Street Albertsons Jan. 21 to 22 and Jan. 28 to 29

“The Souper Bowl is a lifesaving event in our community,” Food Basket Executive Director Ariel Jackson said. “Especially as we’re experiencing unprecedented need, the Souper Bowl ensures that our warehouse is stocked during harsher weather when local families rely upon emergency food resources to keep their household fed.”

GoFundMe fundraisers for both schools have also been started to help with the effort. If you would like to donate money, click here for Skyline High School or click here for Idaho Falls High school.

“This has been a super hard time for a lot of people and families are truly in desperate need and if you can help, you should,” said Guza. “It’s so powerful, this whole process.”

food drive
Souper Bowl, cash or cans fundraising event. | Courtesy: Community Food Basket—Idaho Falls

In addition to food, the food basket is also in need of standard-size potato boxes with a top and bottom. Students collect food in these boxes and the food basket uses potato boxes to deliver food to families.

The Souper Bowl needs approximately 1,000 complete boxes and the food basket needs three pallets of potato box tops and three pallets of potato box bottoms. The students need to have the boxes by Jan. 20 and the food basket needs them by early February.

Spud boxes can be dropped off at the Community Food Basket at 1895 N Boulevard in Idaho Falls. Donors should call (208) 524-0994 first before dropping off the boxes.