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Competitive spirit helps the needy

AHOSKIE – There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to help spread some good in the community.

On Nov. 13, employees of Roanoke Electric Cooperative dropped off a total of 1,288 pounds of donated food to the Ahoskie Food Pantry. The food—a variety of nonperishable canned and boxed goods—was collected over the past month to fulfill a company-wide challenge.

“We had an internal contest from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 between departments. We wanted to see which of the departments could come up with the most nonperishable food items,” explained Roanoke Electric Communications Specialist Brittany Tann.

Participants included Roanoke Electric employees from Member Services, Human Resources and Accounting, Operations, IT, and The Roanoke Center.

On the last day of the competition, the food was weighed to determine the winner. The Member Services department gathered the most, weighing in at 376 pounds.

“It’s definitely something that was fun, but it was also something that we knew had a greater purpose,” Tann continued.

She said one of the company’s goals is to enhance the quality of life in the communities they serve, and so she hoped local families would be able to enjoy the donated food especially for the upcoming holidays.

This was the first year the food collection competition was held, but Tann said they planned to continue it annually. She credited Ashley Horton, from the REC Health & Wellness Committee, for the original idea.

“It’s something that we’re definitely proud of,” Tann concluded.

After the food was dropped off at the Ahoskie Food Pantry, located in the Ahoskie First Presbyterian Church, Roanoke Electric employees were given a tour by Coordinator Bill Arrington. He explained the different things the pantry does, such as filling backpacks with food for local schoolchildren, and showed how different foods are stored while waiting to be distributed.

“We really do appreciate that,” Arrington said of REC’s food donation, noting that donations from several local business help keep the pantry in operation. “It really helps us out a lot.”

Arrington also said they always appreciate having more volunteers to help, especially when they have many boxes of food to move.

The Ahoskie Food Pantry is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon Monday through Friday each week.