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Stepinac High Completes "Souper Bowl of Caring"

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Hundreds of Archbishop Stepinac High School students chanted "move that truck" and pumped their fists in the air as a truck carrying 42,000 cans of food pulled out of the White Plains school and headed towards two local soup kitchens Friday.

Demetrius Woods, a senior from White Plains, and approximately 12 others on the student council seized a suggestion from their moderator Roxanne Calvello that the school join youth across the nation in working to eradicate hunger in the annual "Souper Bowl of Caring."

Stepinac’s Student Government Committee organized the largest donation drive in the school’s 63-year history while asking students to collect 50,000 boxes and cans of food for the Grace Church Community Center in White Plains and Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester.

Woods, the vice president of the senior class, said he was proud of himself and his classmates for achieving the goal and earning a day off of school this Monday.

“Unfortunately we only made 42,000, but with donations from other events and charity we raised $5,000. We figure every $1 can get two cans, so that pushes out there,” Woods said. “Most of the school was excited because we got a day off. Even if we didn’t have the reward, we would still feel good.”

Stepinac Student Government Committee chose the recipients of the donations after hearing that supplies often dwindle in food pantries and soup kitchens after Christmas and Thanksgiving. Each of Stepinac’s 625 students was asked to collect 100 cans. The football team and student government representatives visited local supermarkets to seek out additional donations.

Many students, including Woods, said having the day after the Super Bowl game off will allow them to fully celebrate the New York Giants’ victory.

“I’ll be resting because we are probably going to be excited after the Giants win,” Woods said.

Michael Murphy said he didn’t want to take any chances when it came to time off to celebrate the big blue.

“I bought over 200 packs of Ramen. The students made a conscious decision that we’re not coming to school on Monday, but we like to do it for the good of it,” said Murphy, a Bronx resident.

Father Thomas Collins, the school’s president, congratulated the students on “a job well done” after the final count was in.

“We collected enough food to feed the poor. Remember you don’t always look at what you don’t have. Rather, you look towards those who don’t have what you have,” Collins said. “A Stepinac man is a man who helps those in need.”

The school plans to make the “Souper Bowl of Caring” an annual event.

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