Employees of The Synergy Company, U.S. Geological Society and National Park Service held a food-drive competition during the month of September and collected more than 3,000 pounds of food for the Grand County Food Bank. The overall champion of the food drive was The Synergy Company, which collected an average of 34 pounds of food per employee.[Photo courtesy of Ginger Aaron]

Food banks don’t typically receive a lot of donations during the month of September, but three Grand County organizations changed that this year when they established a new tradition.

The Synergy Company, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Park Service (NPS) partnered for a food-drive competition in an effort to garner more support for the Grand County Food Bank, build connections with each other, and lastly to have fun, said Alia Einstein-Diez, senior content writer for The Synergy Company.

Drake Taylor, manager of the Grand County Food Bank, suggested the food drive be held during the month of September since it’s a time of year when they don’t receive many donations and there are no other organizations running food drives.

The friendly competition was dubbed “The Resource Boulevard Food Drive Challenge” because the three organizations are located on Resource Boulevard south of Moab.

Each organization gathered donations from its employees to donate to the Grand County Food Bank each week starting on Sept 3.

“It is always exciting when local organizations and businesses can cooperate together in a common goal and have a little fun along the way,” said Keegan Stewart, a research assistant at The Synergy Company.

The donations were weighed and tallied for four weeks. On Sept. 27, the organizations met for an ice cream social and announced the overall winner and final tallies.

The winners “by a hair with a come-from-behind victory in week four” was The Synergy Company, averaging 34.03 pounds of food donations per employee, Einstein-Diez said. The USGS had an average of 32.10 pounds of food donated per employee, and rounding out the group was the NPS, averaging 15.45 pounds of food per employee. The fun rivalry resulted in the total collection of 3,722 pounds of food for the food bank.

All three organizations are hoping to continue this newly established tradition next year, Einstein-Diez said. The trophy awarded for 2018 will remain with the winning team until 2019, at which time each of the three organizations will compete again to claim the trophy for 2019.

The Grand County Food Bank is located at 56 N. 200 East and provides food to individuals who qualify for donations based upon their income.

Friendly food-drive competition yields more than 3,000 pounds of food