(WBIR-Loudon County) Adjectives like "fierce" and "heated" describe the nine-decades long "Battle of the Bridge" football game in Loudon County between Lenoir City and Loudon high schools. However, there's another competition currently going on between these two schools, one that will benefit a local charity.
"The real winners are the hungry families in Loudon County," said Karen Bowdle with the Good Samaritan Center of Loudon County. The nonprofit helps thousands of people with food assistance.
"Between 35 to 40 percent of all the food that we collect for our on-site pantry comes from this Battle of the Bridge competition," Bowdle added.
In the last eight years, the drive has raised more than 57 tons of food, all donated by the 2,100 students from the combined two schools. They also raised more than $210,000 in monetary donations for the Good Samaritan Center.
"Each student raised enough food and donated enough food to us to feed a family for a week," Eddy Shubert, the pantry manager added.
Since 2001, Loudon High School has been the winner nine times since 2001. Lenoir City won four times.