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Granite students score big during Souper Bowl of Caring

Feb 27, 2017 11:11AM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Cottonwood Elementary lip-sync performance part of reward assembly to celebrate students hard work. (Aspen Perry/City Journal)

Gallery: Granite students score big during Souper Bowl of Caring [4 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Aspen Perry | a.perry@mycityjournals.com
 
During the first week of February, schools throughout the Granite District rallied to raise funds and food for the Souper Bowl of Caring, a nationwide fundraiser to fight hunger, empower youth and unite communities.
 
According to the Granite Education Foundation (GEF), Granite School District currently faces a hunger epidemic. In December 2016, Granite School District reported having 1,100 homeless students.
 
In addition to homeless students, Granite District reports having more than 44,000 students living at or well below poverty level, often missing meals.
 
Participating in the nationwide Souper Bowl of Caring seemed to be a great way to serve GEF’s commitment to ensure students do not go hungry, and GEF is not alone. The concept of the Souper Bowl of Caring began with the simple prayer, which said, “As we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat.”
 
From that simple prayer in 1990, people from around the nation have generated more than $100 million for various soup kitchens and food banks to communities in need, with GEF at the helm of the efforts to help students in communities along the Wasatch Front.
 
In 2014, during the first year of Souper Bowl fundraising event, GEF collected $8,813 for programs in need. In 2016, with more school and community involvement, GEF collected $27,222.  
 
During this year’s event, through the fundraising efforts of schools, businesses and community groups throughout the Granite School District, as of Feb. 13, GEF raised $422,100. District officials also raised more than  35,900 food items with many schools pledging to continue to collect food and funding.
 
In addition to raising funds for a good cause, many schools had fun activities to encourage participation and make for an overall positive takeaway for students involved.
 
Evergreen Jr. High tied fund raising efforts in with spirit week, which included encouraging students to dress up for Tacky Tourist Tuesday, Throwback Thursday and more, a strategy that resulted in raising $903 and 376 items.
 
Cottonwood Elementary in Holladay treated its students to an assembly complete with faculty and staff taking on wacky tasks, such as a lip-sync performance, cupcake eating contest, skateboarding across the auditorium stage, letting students spray their teachers with silly string and more to reward students for their hard work in raising $2,500 and 960 food items.
 
With a student population of 570, Taylorsville Elementary collected $263.28 along with 300pounds of food.
 
Howard R. Driggs Elementary exceeded its goal of having each student bring a can, which would have given them a total of 640, to collecting 867 food items. Along with the promise to continue raising more throughout the remaining school year.
 
Not too far from Holladay, schools in Murray also scored big, with Cottonwood High School reporting $11,300 donated in funds and 4,500 food items.
 
Across town, schools in West Valley rallied, with Whittier Elementary raising $1,700 in funds and Academy Park Elementary bringing in 1,800 food items.
 
Local businesses joined in the fun, as well, with Granite Credit Union bringing in $50,000, and an organization called Friends of GEF donating $251,500, making them the fourth largest contributor in the nation.
 
Churches also participated including the Episcopal Diocese raising $15,000 and St. James Episcopal Church collecting $2,600 in funds and 231 food items.
 
Whether donations were large or small, all the schools, businesses and community groups throughout Granite made for an incredible collection year, sure to make a real difference in the fight against hunger.
 
“We are encouraged by the efforts of the community and schools within the district to help fight hunger,” said JeAnna Jenkins Ellis, with Granite Education Foundation.
 
To stay in the loop on the fundraising efforts visit, Granite Education Foundation on SouperBowl.org. For information on other programs GEF holds throughout the year to help educators, visit GraniteKids.org/educators.
 
According to SouperBowl.org, as of Feb. 13, 2017, across the nation 4,061 groups participated in the annual nationwide fundraiser with a total of $6,868,726 raised in cash and food items, with more donations tallied by the minute.  
 
Proving unlike the actual Super Bowl where one team is bound to lose. When it comes to the Souper Bowl of Caring, there are only winners. 
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