MARCH 1, 2016 ONTARIO, OR – As part of the Telmate Cares program, Telmate’s Ontario, Oregon team celebrated a successful end to three weeks of its food drive by amassing an impressive grand total of 5,679 food items to be donated to the Oregon Food Bank. Folks, that’s 4312 pounds of food!
The food drive contest began with eight teams (a total of about 100 employees) and in the end three teams were vying for 1st placein the sometimes fierce food competition that ended up blowing contribution targets out of the water. Week one ended with 1,202 items, but by week three the numbers rocketed up past the 2K mark. In the end, Ernesto Guizar’s team won with 1,571 total items, 853 of which came in the deciding last week of the competition.
The items will be donated to Ontario, Oregon residents who are food insecure. To be classified as “food insecure” a household experiences seven months a year where they do not have enough food and go hungry, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service (http://www.ers.usda.gov/about-ers.aspx). As many as 1 in 6 Americans (more than 16%) are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children, and seniors who are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.
Caryn Waldrop, who is Director of Telmate’s Call Center Operations in Ontario, has a personal soft spot for helping those in need because hunger profoundly touched her own life. “Growing up we were a family of six, my mom and five of us kids. I can’t even tell you how many times we went hungry or all six of us shared one box of Mac n Cheese per day,” she recalled. “I know how much this will mean to the people in our community.”
This was the largest volunteering effort to date in Telmate’s history.