Five different HISD schools were recently named “Champions off the Field” by the Souper Bowl of Caring for their efforts to fight hunger.
This annual food drive and fundraiser, which ran from Jan. 20 – Feb. 7, generated more than $9.9 million in donations nationally this year, a portion of which came from the 33 HISD schools that participated.
The biggest contributor by far in 2016 was West University Elementary School (WUES), which has played a huge part in fighting hunger for the last decade. Since 2007, students at this centrally located campus have collected more than 14,700 food items — or a staggering 188,000 pounds of food — to feed Houston’s hungry. This year alone, the school filled two tractor trailers all by itself, for a total of almost 36,000 pounds of food, making it the top participant of any campus in the nation. The school also earned that distinction in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
“We stress community service at West U.,” said Principal John Threet. “Most of our kids come from homes where they have a roof over their head each night and plenty to eat. We want them to know that to whom much is given, much is expected. The Souper Bowl of Caring is a great way for our kids to help feed the hungry in Houston and give back to the community at large.”
The Souper Bowl of Caring also identified some stars among the HISD schools who were brand-new to the fundraiser this year. They are:
- Elementary School: Osborne ES — 3,000 food items/400 pounds
- Middle School: Black MS — 677 food items
- Combination Middle/High School: Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy — $1,918.24 raised
- High School: Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center — 400 food items/425 pounds
Both the Young Women’s and Sam Houston students boosted their totals by encouraging shoppers at local Kroger stores to make $1 donations or purchase pre-packaged “Hunger Bags,” grocery sacks filled with various dollar amounts of canned goods and other non-perishables.
“Volunteering at the Kroger near our school was an excellent opportunity for students to not only connect and give back to their community, but also to shine individually,” said Carla Varela, a teacher at Sam Houston MSTC. “The Souper Bowl of Caring gave our students a chance to become community leaders.”
All told, HISD schools and the central office staff collected more than 60,000 canned goods this year for the Souper Bowl of Caring. Many local charities will benefit from this annual event, including the Houston Food Bank.