Farmers Alliance employees received a challenge in mid-November, and today that challenge was overhwelmingly met.
Employee Gloria Schroeder, also a member of the McPherson Kiwanis, challenged the company staff to collect just one more food item than was contributed in 2011. Last year the employees collected 10,635 food items, a tremendous boost for the Kiwanis Christmas Food Basket program and the McPherson County Food Bank.
Gloria simply asked if Farmers Alliance could do that again. The employees more than rose to the challenge, as 14,270 food items were collected in the three-week campaign.
Working with the Farmers Alliance Executive Management group, a “friendly competition” was started. All employees were assigned to one of four teams, each led by a member of executive management. Teams quickly created team names and developed their strategy to meet the 10,635 plus one item challenge, and to win the coveted bragging rights for the coming year.
“Our Farmers Alliance family is much like any other family — we like to enjoy fun and food together, but we also like to make a difference in our community,” Keith Birkhead, president and CEO, said. “The food drive has been a great opportunity for us to share in a fun project, always knowing that we’re helping to meet a need in our community. It’s also appropriate that we support the Kiwanis and McPherson County Food Bank in this way, since our company was founded more than a century ago on the principles of neighbors helping neighbors.
“We work every day to help our policyholders project their property and their financial stability, and then work to restore those if there’s a loss. These important community groups have a similar mission of helping their neighbors, and we’re happy to support their efforts with this contribution.”
Birkhead’s team, the “Hunger Haters” won the competition, collecting more than 6,000 items themselves. It took six full pickup trucks (and a lot of strong volunteers) to transport the food from Farmers Alliance to the food bank.
In addition to the satisfaction they all get from helping, and knowing the food is going for an important cause, they’ll also enjoy a home-cooked Mexican fiesta in the next few weeks, and hold the bragging rights until next year.