What matters more than a touchdown? Peanut Butter.
On August 27, the Brandeis Broncos and Johnson Jaguars battled on the football field for more than just another touchdown.
The two teams partnered up with Snack Pak 4 Kids, an organization that dedicates itself to helping underfed children, to collect jars of peanut butter for the first Peanut Butter Bowl.
The game came about when Coach Jeffrey Fleener was approached by his youth minister from high school, Steve Teel, who proposed the idea of a friendly rivalry for a good cause.
International Languages Coordinator and wife of the head coach Katy Fleener described the relationship between the two coaches.
“The head coach at Johnson was Coach Fleener’s quarterback in high school, so we are very good friends with their family. Teel approached us because Coach Fleener and Coach Rittiman have such a good relationship,” Katy said.
When the coaches agreed, they then met with the athletic directors from NEISD and NISD and discussed the logistics of how everything was going to work.
Katy’s goal this year was to see how the community responded. She could not believe how well it went.
“There was a lot of good publicity from the school district,” Katy said. “I had tons of parents bring it to open house when they made the call-out to remind parents, and lots of people brought it to the actual football game with them.”
Many jars were also collected through a donation bin at H-E-B.
“It was set up to where you were able to buy peanut butter jars at the store and then drop them off at the front of the store, so you didn’t even have to carry them out of H-E-B,” Katy said. “Mr. Teel then went to the store and collected it all to take it to Snack Pack 4 Kids.”
In total, 4,716 jars of peanut butter were collected by both teams, which translates to more than one third of the 12,000 jars that Snack Pak 4 Kids needs annually.
“The peanut butter is sent home with kids who leave from school on Friday and don’t eat anything throughout the weekend until Monday morning when they return to school,” Katy said. “This organization sends these jars so that the kids and their families can have a fulfilling food to snack on.”
In the end, not only did the Broncos and Panthers give back to the community in a way that was bigger than them, they made a difference that benefits many families in the community.
Katy Fleener is eager to see how much we will accomplish next year now that more people have noticed how they can get involved and make a huge difference.
Despite the loss of 23-13 at the game, who won the game didn’t have much importance. After all, the football teams did not compete for just another winning score; they competed against the poverty that many kids are forced to live with.
“The hashtag for the game was ‘we all win,’ so no matter who won the game, it’s the little kids around San Antonio who are actually winning from the generosity of our community,” Katy said.