WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The boys at Archbishop Stepinac High School in Westchester put the finishing touches on a blistering race to accumulate 50,000 cans of food in the space of four short weeks.
Father Tom Collins, president of the Catholic school, christened the challenge their “Souper Bowl of Caring.”
The students loaded up trucks Friday with thousands of cans of donated soup and other goods which they then delivered to community centers and food pantries in Port Chester and White Plains.
This year, the success of the New York Giants created a spark and extra excitement for the annual drive.
“We knew the food pantries in this area would be depleted after Christmas and Thanksgiving so I challenged the students to meet the needs of the hungry,” Collins said. “I was very happy to see they easily met their goal.”
In the interest of full disclosure, the concept of “can” is pretty loosely defined and the actual count is 42,836. However, the kids also raised $5,000 to buy additional food, which puts them way over the top.
“I did the math of $1 to buy three cans and that reaches the goal of 57,836,” Collins told 1010 WINS.
With a student body of 625, that’s about 80 cans per student, so the students met their goal, and Friday got their reward and cheered if the Superbowl just ended with another Giants’ win.
“I am granting a holiday the day after the Superbowl. Go Giants,” Collins said.
Every one of them helped, some more than others.
“I turned in five cans,” junior Simon Bolitto told CBS 2′s Lou Young.
“I spent about $30 and got about 90 cans,” senior John Drago said.
The techniques varied as well.
“Well they had a sale, so everything was off-price so everything was good,” said senior Anthony Mascetta.
“I actually stole from my parents cupboard a little bit. Don’t tell them, but I had to do what I had to do,” said senior Albert Stamaj.
And more than a few of these guys took money from their own pockets to make it happen.
“I spent $20, $30,” said freshman Albert Alfonsio.
Does having a day off really mean that much? “Yeah, I love it,” Alfonsio said.
The principal says he had latitude to grant the holiday because of unused snow days.
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