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Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools and Catholic Charities Surpass Goal of Filling Soldier Field Twice by Collecting More Than 125,000 Food Items as Part of Soup-er Stadium Challenge Initiative

Donations from the Challenge will provide more than 100,000 meals to Chicagoans in need

Chicago, IL (October 12, 2017) – The Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Charities today announced they exceeded their goal of filling Soldier Field twice by collecting more than 125,000 food items as part of the Soup-er Stadium Challenge, an initiative to help eliminate hunger in Cook and Lake Counties. Former Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation and Soldier Field also lent support to the Challenge, which will provide more than 100,000 meals to Chicagoans in need.

“Food insecurity is an urgent concern,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. “The Soup-er Stadium Challenge has been a great example of our Catholic communities coming together in solidarity to transform lives through service.”

The Challenge was created in response to the growing prevalence of hunger and food insecurity in our community. More than 729,000 people in Cook County have food insecurity, including more than 227,000 children. Every year, more than 150,000 people rely on Catholic Charities network of food pantries throughout Cook and Lake Counties.

“We are grateful to everyone in our community, especially the school children, who donated to this year’s hunger relief efforts and the Soup-er Stadium Challenge,” said Monsignor Boland, President of Catholic Charities. “Every three days the shelves at our network of eight food pantries need to be refilled to ensure no one in our community goes hungry. The generous donations of this year’s Challenge represent much more than food – they represent hope and compassion to those most in need.”

The Challenge team asked every Catholic school student, teacher and faculty member in the Archdiocese of Chicago to donate at least one non-perishable food item to stock Catholic Charities’ food pantries. The Challenge was more than a food drive.Teachers in Archdiocesan Catholic schools integrated hunger and food insecurity themes into their curricula to create a learning and growing experience for students. 

“The outpouring of donations from our students and their families for the Soup-er Stadium Challenge has been incredible,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “This effort has been a great example of our students’ answering the call of Jesus Christ to care for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.”