Four Corner municipalities compete to collect the most food in annual food drive

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FARMINGTON, N.M.- Who doesn’t like a friendly competition? Especially when there is a good cause behind it. Well, it’s a game between some Four Corners municipalities, that are competing to see who can drum up the most food donations to make the holidays a little merrier for those in need. 

This It’s a friendly competition, that started 13 years ago by San Juan County.

“We approached the other municipalities including Aztec, Bloomfield and the City of Farmington to join us in this food drive challenge,” said Devin Neeley with San Juan County.

To see who could collect the most food for Echo Food Bank. Today that need persists, it impacts 17% of San Juan County’s 21,000 residents.

“We are still seeing a lot of need for food,” said CEO of the ECHO Food Bank, Nanette Pinckney.. “Inflation in general people who may have qualified for our programs before but didn’t use us, are using us now because the food is so expensive at the stores now.”

That need is magnified when food is at the center of the season.

“Especially at the holidays people suffering from food insecurity they want a turkey dinner just like everyone else they want a holiday meal just like normal just like anyone else,” Neeley noted.

And every little bit to make that possible helps.

“We’ve seen as food banks across New Mexico have seen a significant cuts in our food, so all of this food help bridge that meal gap,” Pinckney said.

But sometimes to get there, the competition can get feisty.

“It helps when you don’t have that many employees this food drive is an average of the pounds of food collected per person it’s tough to win,” Neeley added. “It really doesn’t matter where the money comes from or who wins because who benefits is our community and this community here in San Juan County.”

The Tri-City Competition has produced more than 150,000 meals since its start. The winner of this year’s competition will be announced on Nov. 17 and will receive a special trophy.