Idaho Falls and Skyline High Schools. | Brittni Johnson, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS — The two largest high schools in Idaho Falls School District 91 are making sure a local food pantry’s shelves are well-stocked as part of an annual fundraiser.
Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools kicked off their “Souper Bowl” on Jan. 27 and wrapped up Feb. 12. The event encourages each student body to collect the most cans of food and cash as possible to be donated to the Community Food Basket in Idaho Falls.
By the end of the fundraiser, Idaho Falls high schoolers had collected 32,712 cans of food, while Skyline brought in a whopping 83,458 cans plus $16,347 in cash contributions. In total, the schools collected 116,170 cans.
“It’s super, super busy, but it’s a lot of fun to serve the community and get other people involved,” Idaho Falls Female Activities Director Madelyn Cook said.
Student government groups at both schools manage the drive that has become one of the largest canned food drives in the region. It’s been going on for more than a decade.
Even though it’s been known for being a competition in the past, both schools said they don’t look at it like that anymore.
“It’s more important to get the chance to help the community,” Idaho Falls Student Body Secretary Whitnay Black said. “At the end of the day, we’ll be more successful if we work together.”
Skyline High School students sitting on top of bags of rice. | Brittni Johnson, EastIdahoNews.com
Between the two high schools, they called business, handed out flyers in neighborhoods, stood outside of grocery stores asking for donations and Skyline had raffle tickets to purchase.
During the Idaho Falls verses Skyline men’s basketball game Wednesday evening, one final call was made for last-minute donations.
“It’s been crazy having to stay after school a lot of the time, but it’s been fun building relationships,” Skyline Student Leader Katelyn DeVall, who participated in the food drive for the first time, said.
Cans and cash (every dollar equaled two cans) were collected from Idaho Falls and Skyline, their feeder elementary schools and the community.
Idaho Falls High School students counting money donations. | Brittni Johnson, EastIdahoNews.com
Students said the food drive experience reminded them to be thankful for what they have because they realize there are people who are less fortunate.
“I remember doing a service project — before I was involved in student government — at the Soup Kitchen. You would see these families go through and I (realized) there’s really a need,” Skyline Student Body President Whitney Price said. “When I got involved in student government and found out we do this project, I (felt happy) I can do something about it and make a difference.”
The elementary classes from each of the high school’s feeder elementary schools that collected the most cans will be awarded for their help.
Skyline said each of their elementary schools will have one class that wins a pizza party. The Idaho Falls student government will play dodgeball and bring donuts to the winning classes at each of their elementary schools that tally the most donations.
“It’s so much fun (involving the elementary students) because you get to meet them and talk to them. It’s fun getting to know them,” Cook said.
Although the 2020 “Souper Bowl” is now in the books, it’s left an imprint on the hearts of those who participated.
“It makes me feel good inside because I know it’s not about a competition between Idaho Falls, but it’s more about helping people in the community that don’t have a lot,” Skyline Sophomore Secretary Marlen Zamore said.
Skyline High School students raising money and cans for the “Souper Bowl.” | Courtesy Idaho Falls School District 91 Facebook.
Bags of rice collected by Skyline High School. | Brittni Johnson, EastIdahoNews.com
Idaho Falls High School senior Chris Dompier with donated food. | Brittni Johnson, EastIdahoNews.com
Skyline High School students with the “Souper Bowl” trophy. | Brittni Johnson, EastIdahoNews.com
Idaho Falls High School students Liberty Madsen and James Okeson collecting donations. | Courtesy Catarina Chamlee
Skyline High School students an at elementary putting pepperoni cutouts on a fake pizza to count how many donations the classes made. | Courtesy Heidi Guza
Idaho Falls High School students Abby Corral and McKenna Schafer collecting donations. | Courtesy Catarina Chamlee