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City, county compete to combat local hunger; Contest has collected 51,878 pounds of food since 1993 launch

It could have been the peanut butter.

Maybe it was the canned vegetables.

It certainly wasn’t the lightweight corn flakes.

Whatever it was that pushed the city of Austin’s food collection over the top to win the contest between the city and Mower County, it’s going to do some good locally.

“The local food shelf is the ultimate winner with a total of 3,152 pounds of food collected by the city and county during the annual food drive competition,”  Denise Barthels, administrative assistant to the county coordinator, wrote in an email announcing the results to county employees.

The county collected 1,642 pounds to the city’s 1,510 pounds, but victory went to Austin because city collections per employee came out to 10.07 pounds. The per employee total for the county was 6.46 pounds.

“Since this competition started in 1993, the city and the county have collected 51,878 pounds of food for the local food shelf,” Barthels said. “Thank you for your contributions in another successful effort in filling a community need.”

The total 3,152 pounds of food collected will go to the Salvation Army’s food shelf.

The food weigh-in was last Friday afternoon at the recycling center.

The county has won the competition seven times over the years. The city has won 18 times

In the first year of the competition, the two collected a total of 829 pounds. The biggest collection was in 2002 with 3,947 pounds.

The county won that year.