The competition was on, and all for a good cause: In total, 2,360 pounds of nonperishable food was collected, with Tech—the winning “floor”—collecting 1,400 pounds of it.
That was the result of a final weigh-in conducted Friday afternoon at Higher One, the fast-growing financial services company at Science Park.
The weigh-in was the culmination of a two-week competition within the company conducted by Higher One’s Community Action for Resources Education and Service (CARES) arm. Geared toward Thanksgiving, the competition challenged divisions of the company to collect food for the hungry, to be delived to the FISH food pantry.
It was the competition’s third year, the first in the new 150,000-square-foot company headquarters at the corner of Munson and Winchester.
“The competition is based on pounds and the poundage of food that they get. Yesterday, Tech went out and bought over $700 of food because they were behind. They were the ones that ended up winning,” said Higher One’s Shannon Velázquez.
The strategy wasn’t as simple as racking up pounds of packaged food. FISH asked Higher One CARES for specific items, making them “count double. Things like pasta sauce, macaroni cheese, and pasta were bonus items. It was based specifically on items that FISH was looking for. Something like Mac & Cheese isn’t particularly heavy, but it counted as double,” said Velázquez.
“Different teams had different strategies. Some teams pooled money and made a big PeaPod order, while some shopped on their own,” said Higher One’s Shoba Lemoine.
“The first year, our goal was 500 pounds, and we got 750. Then we did a 1,000-pound goal. This year’s goal was 1,500 pounds, and we got 2,360 pounds,” said Pat Pearson, who chairs Higher One CARES.
Ariela Martin, a student at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, is an Independent contributing reporter.