In a duel of sorts, Mayor Karl Dean and Gov. Phil Bredesen are squaring off to see whose office can collect the most food to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.
Billed as a “friendly competition” between Dean and one of his predecessors, the challenge kicked off today and will go through Nov. 19, when food donations are to be weighed.
“Metro collected over 46,000 pounds of food last year for Nashville families in need,” Dean said. “By extending this challenge to Gov. Bredesen and his staff, I expect we’ll have an even greater impact this year.”
Said Bredesen: “I've always loved a good challenge, and I particularly look forward to meeting the challenge that Mayor Dean has issued to me and the members of my staff.”
Metro departments are also taking part in the contest. Food bins were delivered to Metro offices last week. The winning department will receive what’s known as the “Mayor’s Cup.” The effort is part of Dean’s “Impact Nashville,” a volunteer initiative borne out of the mayor’s participation with Cities of Service, a coalition of mayors launched by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Second Harvest has also set up a website to allow participants to make cash donations. Every dollar equals five pounds of food.
All food donations will be used to support Second Harvest’s Emergency Food Box program.
Items in need include peanut butter, canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned beans, macaroni and cheese and cereal.
According to a news release issued by the mayor’s office, Second Harvest is experiencing a 40 percent growth in terms of demand as a result of the economic downturn.