Written by Annie Perkins
November 19, 2021
The holidays are typically a time of giving and generosity. This year the Department of Transformation and Shared Services (TSS) hosted our second annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Competition by partnering with Arkansas Foodbank. All eight divisions within TSS competed to gather the highest number of nonperishable goods to feed hungry families in our state, and as usual, our employees did not disappoint! Each year, the winning division becomes the new home to the TSS Turkey Trophy, created by Jay Harton, Chief Operating Officer of the Division of Information Systems.
This year, the TSS team knocked it out of the park by collecting 3,437 food items for those in need across our state! That is over 1,000 items more than collected during our 2020 Food Drive. “I am proud of our TSS team for stepping up again this year to help feed hungry Arkansans. This food drive continues to show that our EPIC employees are always willing to help others,” said TSS Secretary Amy Fecher.
The 2021 winner of the TSS Food Drive Competition is (drumroll please) ……………. Arkansas State Surplus (M&R). This twelve-person division is small but mighty, bringing in 701 items total. That is over 58 items donated per employee! This is M&R’s second year securing the title of “Food Drive Champions,” which means the TSS Turkey Trophy will remain at its current home for another year. “The competition was fierce this year but we had a lot of fun participating in such a meaningful event. We are excited to be repeat winners, however, the real winners are the people who won’t go without a meal because of our donations,” said M&R Manager Phillip Cole.
The annual Food Drive Competition at TSS has been wildly successful because the cause is near and dear to our hearts- it quite literally hits close to home. In Arkansas, 1 in 5 people faces hunger, with children being the most at-risk. Arkansas Foodbank works to combat hunger across our state by serving 33 counties in central and southern Arkansas through providing food and funds to local feeding programs. One of their many impactful initiatives is “Food for Kids” which provides non-perishable, child-friendly foods to students in need that they can take home and eat when school meal programs are not available, such as on weekends and breaks. “Food for Seniors,” another program of the Arkansas Foodbank, strives to improve access to food for older Arkansans through monthly food boxes, home deliveries, SNAP outreach, and extra financial support to partner agencies.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help hungry families this holiday season, please visit ArkansasFoodbank.org.