The undying support of Green Bay Packers fans is benefiting Wisconsin food pantries once again.
For the fifth straight year, the Packers won Campbell's Chunky soup's annual "Click For Cans" contest, as fans registered nearly 1 million online votes to earn a donation from Campbell's of 14,000 cans of Chunky soup, equal to the weight of the Packers' roster.
A portion of those cans arrived at Lambeau Field on Tuesday morning, and players Noah Herron, Cullen Jenkins and Jason Spitz helped unload them into the trucks of 15 Wisconsin food pantries. The full 14,000 cans did not arrive due to a shipping error, for which Campbell's apologized and explained that each pantry would have the remainder of their share shipped soon.
Each food pantry received a handful of cases on Monday, and when the rest of the shipment arrives, they will take in more than 70 cases each, or more than 800 cans of soup apiece.
"It means quite a bit," said Larry Larson, manager of the Coulee Community Action Program in the western Wisconsin town of Prairie du Chien. "Eight-hundred-and-sixty cans of soup will feed the families we serve for four full months. It will last a long time."
Beginning in October, Campbell's Chunky soup invited fans from across the country to vote for their favorite NFL team to help make a difference in local communities. For the past five seasons, Packers' fans have helped to tackle hunger in their community by registering the most clicks of any NFL team, an unprecedented feat by the NFL's smallest market team.
This season, Packers fans' tripled votes from last year, registering an outstanding 958,023 total votes.
"Packers fans are renowned for being very supportive," said Spitz, who just completed his first season in Green Bay. "So it's no surprise we won this contest."
The players and food pantry representatives braved temperatures in the teens to get the first shipment of soup cans headed to their destinations. After the trucks were loaded, the recipients stuck around to chat with the players and take a tour of the Packers Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field.
In addition to the Coulee CAP in Prairie du Chien, the Wisconsin food pantries receiving donations include the EWCAC Adams Food Pantry in Friendship, the Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency in Ashland, the Salvation Army in Superior, the St. Francis Food Pantry in Eau Claire, the Northeast Wisconsin Community Action Program in Crandon, the Community Sharing Pantry in Mauston, WAFER in La Crosse, Operation Compassion in Antigo, St. Anthony Catholic Church in Neopit, the Northcott Neighborhood House Food Pantry in Milwaukee, St. Vincent De Paul St. James in Franklin, the Indianhead Community Action Agency in Ladysmith, the Hayward Community Food Shelf in Hayward, and Butikk in Westby.
Campbell's Chunky soup has partnered with the NFL's Tackling Hunger program for the past nine years and donated more than 34 million cans of soup to hunger relief charities across the country.