Churchill Junior High School’s $15,800 donation is largest of any Utah public school participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring Campaign

It was a day of screams and celebrations on the east bench of the Wasatch Front, Friday, April 21, 2023. Students of Millcreek’s Churchill Junior High capped off “Charger Week” with an assembly to celebrate raising nearly $16,000 for Tackle Hunger’s Souper Bowl of Caring last February. Proceeds from the three-week long event benefit the Granite Education Foundation (GEF), a community organization involved in a myriad of community programs, including providing for school food banks and families in the Granite School District

“Last February, our Charger community raised an astounding $15,876.32 for Souper Bowl of Caring,” shared Trent Hendricks, principal of Churchill Junior High. This year’s total is three to four times the amount the school has historically raised for Souper Bowl of Caring. “But more than just breaking Churchill’s past records, this gift represents the largest amount raised for Tackle Hunger by any public school—elementary through high school— in the entire state of Utah!” Hendricks beamed to the cheering students. 

Hendricks credits the efforts of student and peer leaders, the school’s robust PTSA efforts and a willingness to try something new – culminating in a synergistic impact for the Charger community and beyond. “I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” Hendricks added.

At the assembly, students also learned Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson donated an additional $5,000 through his JC Cares Foundation. The check was presented to Jadee Talbot, Executive Director Granite Education Foundation (GEF), and Ben Horsley, Granite School District Chief of Staff—bringing the total monetary donation for GEF to an astonishing $20,876.32!  

“The Churchill Junior High community is small, but fiercely united in making an impact,” said Julie Jackson, Granite School Board member representing the area. “Their work in their school building benefits far beyond their school boundary.”  

Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini, who was attending a conference in Southern Utah with other civic leaders from across the state, sent a letter to be read at the assembly, praising the students for their positive impact on the community: “Congrats Chargers! We in Millcreek are super proud of you and thank you for making this huge contribution to addressing hunger in our community and our state.”  

Upon receiving the additional $5,000 from Clarkson and JC Cares, Horsley rallied the Charger crowd with call-outs by grade level to students’ thunderous applause. 

“Did you know that we serve 60,000 kids in the Granite School District,” said Horsley, “and a third of those kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from? But today, with this $15,000 you’re making a difference in those kids’ lives right here in the Granite School District.”

After the assembly, students were treated to an extended lunch period with a barbecue picnic and extra time for connection and camaraderie to celebrate their fundraising feat and the end of Charger Week. 

Churchill Junior High

Churchill is a public middle-school nestled at the base of Mt. Olympus along the picturesque Wasatch Front in Salt Lake City, Utah. Charger Week is a five-day celebration focusing on helping students understand protective factors such as, being an ally to students, inclusion, self-care, drug prevention and online safety. 

Churchill’s mission is to provide students with the skills and experiences for success in achieving academic, artistic, and athletic excellence.  The school consistently receives “commendable” ratings for achievement in academics in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science, and “exemplary” ratings for growth in the same categories. The school’s principal, Mr. Trent Hendricks’s is a recipient of the 2023 Utah PTA Administrator of the Year award. Beginning in Fall 2023, Churchill will be designated as an Engineering Career Pathways school.

Tackle Hunger’s Souper Bowl of Caring

The Souper Bowl of Caring is a nation-wide effort through the Tackle Hunger organization, held annually to coincide with the NFL Super Bowl. For over 30 years, the Souper Bowl of Caring movement has been inspiring people across the nation to tackle hunger in their local communities. The organization coordinates efforts to tackle hunger through their digital platform of fundraising services created to support food charities large and small. Mobilizing grassroots resources including churches, schools, civic groups and caring individuals, this movement has created over $170 million worth of support that stays completely local.  

Granite Education Foundation

Granite Education Foundation is an independent, community-based organization that mobilizes ideas, leadership, and money necessary to enable and encourage private individuals and businesses to make a direct and meaningful impact on children and education within Granite School District. Through business and education partnerships, the organization facilitates the fostering of programs, alliances, and resources to impact student learning and assist educators within the public school system. The foundation supports these areas through programs, partnerships, and advocacy initiatives.