WHITE PLAINS – Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018 is more than three months away but that date is already on the radar screens of Archbishop Stepinac High School students. That’s because starting on Monday, Oct. 23, they will kick off the school’s 6th annual massive food drive, known as the SOUPer Bowl.
If they successfully follow in the steps of prior Stepinac student-run campaigns and collect 25,000 cans of food and other food items to help feed the hungry and homeless throughout Westchester and the Bronx by Super Bowl Sunday, they will be granted a day off from school. Typically, that reward occurs on the following day, Monday.
SOUPer Bowl is Stepinac’s single largest annual food drive that “addresses a tremendous need for food by food pantries and soup kitchens in our community, a problem that is especially acute after the holidays when the level of donations declines,” said Stepinac President, Rev. Thomas Collins.
As in prior SOUPer Bowl drives, students will be encouraged to start bringing food items to school each week. The cans and other items will then be donated to local food pantries, soup kitchen and parish churches located primarily in the communities where Stepinac students live.
In addition to SOUPer Bowl, Stepinac students will also once actively undertake a wide range of clothing, food and other drives to help those in need during the holidays.
Stepinac’s tradition of helping others outside of their immediate community began very early at the start of the current new school which coincided with back-to-back disastrous hurricanes. The incoming freshman class mobilized around a unique campaign entitled “Adopt a Class” for which they collected and shipped more than 30 boxes of school supplies to help their peers at a 9th grade biology class at Klein Oak High school, Spring, Texas that had been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Joining the effort to help those affected by the hurricanes, Stepinac’s baseball program spearheaded an initiative to benefit the American Red Cross relief efforts in which more than 42 boxes of essential goods and supplies were collected and shipped and about $3,000 was raised.
Frank Portanova, Stepinac Vice Principal for Academics and Curriculum, said, “When we talk about our role as a Catholic school, we go beyond the triple-r’s and talk about developing our students spiritually and in terms of development of their souls. And service is a big part of that.”