Cheers filled the Lamar High School gym on Friday during a pep rally in support of filling cupboards for hungry families.
Seventh and eighth-grade students from Nichols Junior High yelled while kicking off the Souper Bowl of Caring North Texas 2015. During the Souper Bowl of Caring, young people and many local grocers work to fight hunger in the weeks leading up to the NFL’s Super Bowl Sunday.
The students set an example with a $1,545 donation to Mission Arlington.
“We got this experience, to know we did something good for our city,” said Johnny Garfia, 14, an eighth-grade student at Nichols Junior High.
Souper Bowl of Caring started as a youth group project in South Carolina in 1990 and has grown into a national movement. More than 350 area schools and congregations will organize events and conduct food drives leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. In North Texas, their efforts will help the North Texas Food Bank and the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
“Coming after the holiday giving season, Souper Bowl of Caring is an important reminder that hunger and its effects cannot be eliminated through one seasonal effort,” said Bo Soderbergh, executive director of the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
“It’s our largest food drive of the year,” said Carol Roberts, who handles community relations and partnership marketing for Albertsons.
Friday’s event tied into the spirit of competition. Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and the team’s mascot, Rowdy, revved up the crowd. Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson, who famously caught the pass known as the Hail Mary, told students to fight hunger, which is a “big, big problem in North Texas.”
“For them, the best way to understand what hunger means is to imagine themselves not having breakfast, not having lunch or dinner to go home to at night, and going to bed with hunger pains and waking up with those same pains, as they increase through the night,” Pearson said, adding: “I think a lot of these kids understand what this is all about.”
Diane Smith, 817-390-7675
Souper Bowl of Caring
Competing food retailers have joined forces to help fight hunger in North Texas. People can buy pre-packed bags at participating grocery stores or make cash donations.
Tom Thumb: www.tomthumb.com
Market Street: www.marketstreetdfw.com
For more information: www.souperbowl.org.