HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Refusing to be overshadowed by the high-profile Super Bowl in San Francisco won by the Denver Broncos, 100 fifth graders at Auten Road Intermediate School hosted their own Soup-er Bowl.

Four teams of fifth graders led by 5J homeroom teachers Diane Lyons and Carrie Sanchez (Carolina Panthers) and 5K homeroom teachers Beth Raff and Mindi Andreski (Denver Broncos) faced off in the Second Annual Soup-er Bowl Collection.

 With a healthy mix of charity and friendly competition, the teams challenged each other to collect the most cans of soup to donate to the Hillsborough Township Food Pantry.

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During the two-week contest, the true lesson of charity really sank in with the students, according to Kia Bergman, Community Outreach Coordinator for Hillsborough Schools.

A 5K Broncos family chose to contribute over 100 cans to the worthy cause; a boy from the Team 5J Panthers shoveled snow in his neighborhood to raise enough money to purchase 40 cans of soup for the food bank.

Another Panther family was so moved that their son spent all his saved money on the soup drive, that they helped him contribute 200 cans to the team.

“So many special stories surround these student donations,” Bergman said. “The 5J and 5K families came through in an amazing fashion.”

Together, they gathered 2,155 cans of soup for charity. Parents delivered the donations to the food bank.