This Super Bowl weekend, you didn't find the Palmerton Girl Scouts huddled around a big-screen T.V. Instead, they spent time at Country Harvest in Palmerton gathering soup and other non-perishable food donations for the hungry.

Their project was part of the nationwide Souperbowl of Caring program, which encourages youth to gather donations of soup for local hunger relief.

The Palmerton Girl Scout Service Unit has participated in the Souperbowl of Caring for the past three years, supplying the Palmerton Christian Action Council of Palmerton Area Churches (CACPAC) with thousands of cans of soup each year. This year the Scouts gathered 1,824 cans of soup and other non-perishable food items.

CACPAC currently serves about 150 families in the Palmerton area each month. Pantry coordinator Charlie Silliman noted that last year's soup donation by the Girl Scouts kept the pantry supplied with soup for more than 3 months.

"All donations are greatly appreciated, because we're constantly getting more families requesting help," said Silliman. He noted that many pantries, including those in Carbon County, lost portions of their federal and state funding last year and this year, which means that these pantries depend more than ever on individual donations. "Donations like this are very important."

"This is our way of giving back to the community," said Lisa Jacobsen, the Scout leader who coordinated this year's event. "It's our one big senior project that we do as a service unit." She noted that Scouts of all ages and Scouting levels took part. Youth volunteers were between the ages of 5 and 17.

Jacobsen also thanked the community for their support during the event, noting that the group collected 300 more cans than last year. All donations will remain in the Palmerton area to be distributed through CACPAC.

The CACPAC food pantry is located in the basement of St. John's Towamensing Lutheran Church at 2915 Fireline Road in Palmerton. They provide food supplies to individuals and families in need on the third Friday of each month; the alternative date for inclement weather is the fourth Friday. Persons requesting assistance must meet income guidelines.

The next pantry distribution will take place on Friday, February 15.