ETX organization hosts Souper Bowl to beat hunger - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX organization hosts Souper Bowl to beat hunger


The big game is coming up on Sunday, but one East Texas organization celebrates the Super Bowl in a different way -- with a contest.

Smith County's People Attempting To Help, or PATH, organization is holding their annual "Souper Bowl" this week, and just like the football Super Bowl, PATH's Souper Bowl is a large competition that schools and congregations and different organizations can take part in to beat hunger in Smith County.

"We want them to think about feeding the hungry people in Smith County, so of course what we would love for them to do is have a great Super Bowl party, and at that party ask their friends to bring soup, s-o-u-p, and collect for PATH and then bring those contributions to us next week after the football game," said Becky Duncan, PATH's Community Outreach Coordinator.

Last year, PATH received around 90,000 pounds of soup during the Souper Bowl, leaving enough soup in their pantry to last 10 months.

"Soup is a meal in a can, literally," Duncan said. "It means that they don't have to use multiple cans to have a meal, for one thing. And that means that everything else can go further."

And as with any Super Bowl, there are MVPs. For the last five years, the Pollard United Methodist Church has won the congregational MVP award, thanks in large part to their youth group.

"Let me put it another way," said John Rader, Pollard United Methodist Church's PATH coordinator. "In the five years that they've won the MVP award, they've given enough money and cans, PATH figured it up, that they provided 49 tons of food during the last five years."

And Duncan says the beauty of this Souper Bowl is anyone can participate.

"A can of soup costs less than the bag of chips that you're going to eat on Sunday afternoon," Duncan said. "If every person who ate chips and dipped into some kind of a dip on Sunday would also buy a can of soup and either take to the party that they are or bring it to PATH, just imagine how much food that would be for the people of East Texas."

In case you were curious, 49 tons of food equals over 98,000 pounds of food over the last five years. That's almost 9,000 cans and just over $17,000 in monetary donations.

And the kids at Pollard United Methodist Church are geared up to win MVP award number six.

The drive is over this Sunday, Super Bowl Sunday, and if you'd like your donations to be counted for the MVP school or congregational awards, they need to be at path by Thursday afternoon, Feb. 9.

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