Supporting the “Souper Bowl”

Annual soup drive ends day after Super Bowl, National Honor Society helps Harvesters

Katie Bullock, Editor-in-chief

When someone thinks of a school office, the first thing that comes to mind is generally not towering cans of soup. But from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5, soup is the main decoration of the main office.

For the first time in its six-year duration, the two-week long soup drive will serve to stock the school’s own new food pantry.

“It started as a possibilities project for the classified staff – the teachers who didn’t have an advisory or class like that – and from there it just kind of spun out and we’ve been doing it every year since during the Super Bowl season,” administrative assistant Pamela Wiltfong said. “In the past, we would divide that to a local church and food bank that catered to our students but now that we have our own food pantry we’re going to put all these cans of soup in that.”

To represent that impact that the 188 faculty members could make, the goal for the drive is to collect 188 cans, and as of Jan. 30, well over 100 cans have been collected. Although the drive ends Feb. 5, the day after Super Bowl Sunday, Wiltfong said that any student or staff member can donate to the pantry at any time.

“It technically ends Monday but hunger doesn’t stop,” Wiltfong said. “We’ll take soup cans or cans of fruit or meat at any time. We’ll take whatever we can get when we can get it.”

The so-called ‘Souper Bowl Drive,’ is also hosted at a number of food banks around the nation, including the midwest distribution center Harvesters, which National Honors Society (NHS) visited on Jan. 31.

“We got to go to the main Harvesters distribution center,” senior Rana Ekilah said. “We got to take a tour and see how everything works. We even got to see some volunteers there actually working. It was a really cool experience to get to be there with NHS and to see the amazing things that happen there all the time.”

While there, NHS members also helped to package canned foods, cleaning and cooking supplies as well as soda.

“I think it’s [Harvesters] really important,” Ekilah said. “I mean personally, I know kids from my elementary school who had the Backsnacks [a program that filled backpacks with snacks| and that was a really important resource for them and their families. I think it’s important to get the community involved here at Winnetonka so that we raise awareness for hunger itself and the impact it has on our community.”

Any students who would like to use the school Food Pantry can contact Shelly Meinke in the counseling office.