As the annual Fish Bowl football game between Peninsula and Gig Harbor high schools approaches Friday night, leadership teams at both schools are channeling the competitive spirit into community benefit.
The third annual Food Bowl is underway, a week-long competition between the schools to collect the most food for donation to Food Backpacks 4 Kids. Donated food is measured by weight to decide the winning school.
Students have been involved through the summer setting up the event and garnering community support, said Danielle O’Leary, dean of students and ASB adviser for PHS.
“This is really the time to work together as schools,” she said. “We have the most community attention during this week.”
This is really the time to work together as schools. We have the most community attention during this week.
Danielle O’Leary, dean of students and ASB adviser for Peninsula High School
Food Bowl started Monday and will continue through end-of-school on Friday (Sept. 15), ending before the Fish Bowl game that night. The Food Bowl winner will be announced at halftime of the game.
Students at the schools are competing for a trophy and the recognition for winning the food drive. PHS has won Food Bowl for the past two years, said Kelly Indahl, GHHS math teacher and ASB adviser.
“When it comes to the Food Bowl, we have always liked to take the rivalry that we have and use it in a positive way to serve the community,” she said. “I think it’s really neat when you have two schools with a really intense rivalry that we can use for good in the community.”
Community members interested in supporting a specific school are welcome to join students in donating directly at the school of their choice. Drop boxes have been set up in each school for donations.
For those looking to donate but not pick a school, donation boxes are available throughout the community. Donations from these boxes will not be included in the Food Bowl competition, but will be donated to Food Backpacks 4 Kids with the rest of the donations.
Participating locations for donations include the Tom Taylor Family YMCA, Cascade Eye & Skin, Puget Sound Orthopedics, NW Sports Physical Therapy and the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
Community partners in the event include Puget Sound Orthopaedics and NW Sports Physical Therapy.
Last year, PHS won Food Bowl with 2,564 pounds of food versus GHHS’s collection of 1,760 pounds.
“We would welcome anybody that supports Gig Harbor High School to donate here,” Indahl said. “But if we don’t win, at least we know that the charity will always win.”
For more information on Food Backpacks 4 Kids, visit foodbackpacks4kids.org.
Non-perishable and canned food items will be collected Sept. 11 to 15 at Peninsula and Gig Harbor high schools and participating locations.