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Friendly competition spawns food, monetary donations among employees at Northwest Technologies

COURTESY PHOTO: NORTHWEST TECHNOLOGIES - Northwest Technologies employees deliver donations to the Estacada Area Food Bank.

Employees at Northwest Technologies will soon be taking pie to the face in support of the Estacada Area Food Bank.

In the company's annual Civil War Food Drive, employees decide whether they wish to represent the University of Oregon Ducks or the Oregon State University Beavers, with each team striving to collect the most amount of donations for the food bank. On Monday, Dec. 2, the items will be weighed, and whichever team has more food will be able to select individuals from the opposing team to throw pies at.

This year's drive began on Friday, Nov, 1, and will continue through Monday, Nov. 25.

Since its inception seven years ago, the Civil War Food Drive has collected 17,533 pounds of food and $2,044 in monetary donations for the food bank. For every 200 pounds of food donated, Northwest Technologies donates a frozen turkey; over the years, 101 turkeys have been donated.

Last year, the company donated 3,796 pounds of food, 19 turkeys and $510.

Leaders at Northwest Technologies have implemented several creative ways to fundraise for the food bank during the event. For example, those interested can donate $10 or 10 pounds of food to subject their workers to a golden toilet sitting in their workspace for the day. Employees who wish to avoid this can buy "can insurance" for a donation of $25 or 25 pounds of food.

"You can strategize a little bit based on what meets your fancy," said Crystalyn Reed, Human Resources Manager at Northwest Technologies.

Employees can also purchase "football squares" for $5 for a 5 pound food donation. Winners, which are based on the score of the Civil War football game, will receive half days and full days off.

The food drive leads to friendly competition between the employees. Reed noted that one year, one of her co-workers coordinated with her housemates to take food she had gathered from her pantry and donate it to the opposite team.

"It's about the camaraderie of the employees. We create events to get employees excited, and I enjoy seeing that," said Amy Hokanson, Human Resources Generalist at Northwest Technologies.

Both Hokanson and Reed appreciate the opportunity to support the food bank.

"The best part is having the honor to make that delivery (to the food bank)," Reed said, noting that members of the winning team also participate in the delivery.

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