TYLER, TX (KLTV) - For two decades there has been fierce competition between Robert E. Lee and John Tyler High Schools, but it is not what you think. It is all about feeding those less fortunate. The annual Pantry Raid is a friendly contest to see who can collect the most food for the East Texas Food Bank. We paid a visit to each school to see who could fill the most cabinets.
The Pantry Raid has been going on for 20 years. It corresponds to John Tyler and Robert E. Lee's football match-up, and this year the game is early, so they only had about ten days to collect.
But, they will definitely add to the 862,000 pounds they have collected over the years. They may disagree about who has the most food, but they do agree on one thing.
"It makes me feel good," said Chelsea Black, John Tyler Class President. "It really does…to know that I can help somebody and know that somebody else out there is going to go home tonight with a full belly or somebody doesn't have to worry about what they're going to eat the next day."
"It's a really good feeling," said Jason McCloskey, Robert E. Lee Class President. "Anyway you can help out the community is definitely a good thing, especially those less fortunate, so it's definitely a good feeling."
"We're helping families that are less fortunate than us," said Allison Hemsil, with John Tyler Student Council. "Just knowing that a four-year-old is coming home saying, 'Mommy, Mommy, I'm hungry,' and we're able to provide food for her that night or all the nights. It's just a great feeling."
"It feels great," said Garrison Pottkotter, Robert E. Lee Pantry Raid Chairman. "I mean, just helping out those less fortunate is a great feeling. Me being able to lead this group is a really good feeling to me."
So a lot of good feelings all the way around, but still there is the rivalry, which has even trickled down to family.
"The year before we lost, and that's when my brother was in charge of it, so it would be nice if we won so I can rub it in his face," Pottkotter.
Who won the competition? They announce the winner at the half-time of the John Tyler - Robert E. Lee game on Friday.