March 6, 2024



Derek Sands

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 2024 Bergen County Soup-er Bowl Collects 6500 Cans for Local Food Pantries

County Soup

 ABOVE: (from left to right) County Office of Food Security Coordinator Patrick Fallon, Commissioner Chair Germaine Ortiz, Bergen Academies Principal Russ Davis, County Executive Jim Tedesco, County Human Services Director Melissa DeBartolo, student Sana Kakkar, student Sia Bansal, Commissioner Tracy Zur, Dr. Howard Lerner, and Mary Amoroso

 Hackensack, NJ – While the Kansas City Chiefs were once again crowned the NFL’s best after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 58, a new champion emerged in the 2nd Annual Bergen County Soup-er Bowl – a team led by the students of Bergen County Academies and the Institute for Science and Technology at Northern Valley Regional High School! Collecting 4700 cans, the BCA team defeated their rivals in the Bergen County Technical School District – Bergen Tech Teterboro, Paramus Tech and Applied Tech High Schools – and eclipsed the total number of cans collected by all schools in last year’s competition.

This annual event is facilitated by the Bergen County Office of Food Security in the Bergen County Department of Human Services – and expanded this year to include Rutherford High School and Henry P. Becton Regional High School in East Rutherford alongside the Bergen County Technical School District. The collection began in early January at each participating school, running through the Friday before the big game. The BCA team won both their matchup against Bergen Tech and the competition overall, with Rutherford High School defeating Becton Regional in the other matchup.

“The dedication shown by these students in collecting cans of soup to support these integral resources reflects the spirit of compassion and unity that defines our County,” said County Executive Tedesco. “On behalf of the County of Bergen, I commend these students and their remarkable work in this year’s Soup-er Bowl Competition.”

“I’m so proud of all of our students who took part in this event, and thankful to those parents and our staff members who contributed their time to this effort,” said Dr, Lerner, Superintendent of the Bergen County Technical School District.  “Congratulations to the winners and to all students who worked so hard to contribute to those in need in our communities.”

The cans collected by the students in the 2024 Soup-er Bowl will support four local food pantries in close proximity to each high school – the Center for Food Action in Hackensack, the Open Door Community Center in South Hackensack, the Rutherford Community Food Pantry in Rutherford, and the Russo Family Food Pantry at the Meadowlands YMCA in East Rutherford. The cans will be used as a part of regular food distributions for clients at each pantry.

“Our local pantries are lifelines in our County, and they often rely on donations just like these to support our communities,” said Commissioner Tracy Zur, who spearheaded the Bergen County Food Security Task Force in 2020. “The BCA and Northern Valley team may have won this year’s competition, but the real winner will be the thousands of those facing food insecurity who will benefit from their incredible efforts!”

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