SOUTHSIDE, AR (KAIT) - The Southside Southerners are gearing up for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Kick Off Classic with some volunteering.
The football team, band, and cheerleaders all packed over 29,000 meals for Pep Rally with a Purpose.
Coach Simpson says that's a record breaking number for the Blue Cross Blue Shield event.
"It's always neat for us to experience that. It's really cool to watch our kids get to give back," said Simpson.
This is Southside's first time participating in the kickoff classic, or in the Fearless Food Fight.
And while the school is excited to have broken a record, they're more excited about what the students got out of the experience.
"For them to have the chance to give back and not just receive from people it teaches a huge life lesson to these kids, and our kids really embraced it," said Simpson. "I thought they worked their tails off, they really were excited about it."
The Pep Rally with a Purpose event is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield and was created as a way to help combat food insecurity in Arkansas. The meals packed at the events are taken to local food banks.
"Playing in the game is really cool, but I didn't know that this part came with it," said Simpson. "It was a very big added bonus. It was probably my favorite part so far of being in a big event, was the ability to teach our kids that its more than just a game. It's about giving back to others."
The annual Blue Cross Blue Shield Kickoff Classic is a showcase presented by Hooten's Arkansas Football Magazine. The event features eight high school teams in Arkansas.
The Southerners play the Warren Lumberjacks in the Kickoff Classic August 25.