Ronan Food Banks Score Big at Souper Bowl

The Seattle Seahawks weren’t the only ones to put up big numbers on Super Bowl Sunday. The Ronan Church enjoyed its most successful Souper Bowl ever, collecting 4,004 cans of soup to split between the Bread Basket in Ronan and the Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry. This drive has been an annual tradition at the church for the past five years, with numbers growing steadily each time.

Donations had eclipsed 2,000 units of soup the last two years, but this year saw an unprecedented level of support. The event was structured as a friendly but fierce competition, with the congregation divided into two teams that scrambled to collect as many monetary contributions and units of soup as possible. As it turned out, the competition was more evenly matched than the Super Bowl itself. Russ Jenkins, who helped coordinate, says, “When it was all said and done, the two teams were $3.50 apart, so it was called a tie. Dale Jackson and Kevin Adams did a great job motivating both sides."

The real winners of this Souper Bowl were the two food banks. “Soup is something we don’t get a whole lot of from individual donors,” says Brian Rivers, food pantry managing director. Soup is an especially welcome donation that provides wintertime hot meals for families.

“It’s a commodity that children can fix if their parents are busy or whatever," says Sherri McDonald, Ronan Bread Basket. "For [the Ronan Church] to gather it for us is tremendous. ... It’ll last us into the summer.”

Reflecting on the mountain of soup collected, Jenkins said the church’s giving spirit is even more impressive when considered on a per capita basis. “We don’t really have big money people," he explains. "They’re such a warmhearted church.”

May 22, 2014 / Montana Conference