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Local Companies Vying for Title in Foodbank’s Corporate Food & Funds Drive Challenge

The competitive spirit surrounding the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County’s annual Corporate Food & Funds Drive Challenge gets more palpable every year.

The Corporate Challenge is a friendly competition among local businesses to collect the most points for food, funds and volunteer hours, all benefiting those in need in Santa Barbara County. Points are collected for each pound of food, turkey, dollar and hour of volunteer service donated, and are divided by the number of participants at each organization to create a points to employee ratio.

This year, seven local companies including (2013 winner) Brown & Brown Insurance, Citrix, Cox, Curvature, Deckers, Village Properties and Yardi have joined forces to help the Foodbank and compete for the 2014 title. The challenge kicked off Nov. 3 and will run through Dec. 31.

Last year, Brown & Brown Insurance secured its win with a total of $3,416.37 raised, 61.25 volunteer hours served and 2,000 pounds of locally grown produce harvested. The 2013 competitors were also able to collectively bring in 22,463 pounds of food, 266 turkeys, 442.5 hours of service and $47,309.44 in donations, a $5,700 increase from 2012.

“Brown & Brown Insurance and its employees know how important it is to give back to the community where they live, work, and raise their families,” said Susan Rodriguez, executive vice president of Brown & Brown Insurance Services of California Inc. “Our culture promotes and encourages employee involvement through monetary and hours donated. Through our competitive environment, we work together to help those non-profits that we support improve their mission. Foodbank of Santa Barbara County provides much needed food and nutrition education in the community where we live and work. We enjoyed being part of the Corporate Challenge in 2013. Our competitive spirit was heightened as we received weekly and monthly results of those who participated in the Corporate Challenge. Brown & Brown Insurance looks forward to its continued support of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.”

“Foodbank applauds the dedication of our local business community, who continue to serve and enhance our region through their time, talent and support,” said Erik Talkin, CEO of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “These efforts are ever more critical to prevent working families in our community from having to sacrifice healthcare, housing or education to afford nutritious food. These businesses will help us help those in our community in need of nourishment and some holiday cheer.”

There are many ways for members of the community to participate in the drive as well. Individuals can establish their own Food & Funds Drive or can drop off nonperishable food at both the Santa Barbara and the Santa Maria Foodbank warehouses, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You can also participate in a virtual food drive online, which lets people shop and make a donation to the Foodbank. To learn more, click here or contact development manager Misha Karbelnig at 805.967.5741 x119.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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