ST. GEORGE — For the third straight year, the employees of RAM Company have made a substantial donation to the Utah Food Bank.
After collecting 8,000 pounds of food during its initial drive in 2015, the company nearly doubled that amount with a 15,000-pound effort in 2016.
This time around, the manufacturing company saw the total output nearly double once again, with total donations coming in at more than 29,000 pounds (when considering both food and cash donations).
RAM Company officials said this year’s drive focused more on monetary donations than food items, since the food bank can purchase approximately 4 1/2 pounds of food for each dollar donated, a substantial improvement over retail prices.
Linda Trujillo, branch manager for Utah Food Bank’s southern region, said the organization is able purchase approximately $7.81 worth of food for every $1 donation, thanks to being able to buy in bulk and locally.
Trujillo called the RAM Company employees’ generosity “absolutely amazing.”
“I can’t say enough about them,” she said.
For this year’s RAM food drive, the company’s 200-plus employees were once again randomly divided into two color-coded teams, nicknamed Red Rebels and Dixie Blue. The drive was held the week leading up to Thanksgiving, with the majority of fundraising events taking place Saturday at the company’s facility.
David Terrill, captain of the blue team, said a variety of methods were used to raise money, including a companywide yard sale, bake sale, prize drawing and car wash. Employees even dropped their spare change into jars and made electronic payments online, he said.
Red team captain Chris Johnson said employees banded together to make the drive a success, regardless of which team they belonged.
“It really helps bring everyone together from all parts of the company,” Johnson said, adding that both teams exceeded their fundraising goals.
Although the blue team held a slim lead heading into the food drive’s closing deadline Wednesday morning, a last-minute push put the red team slightly ahead.
Final drive totals were as follows:
- Red team: $3,147.43 in monetary donations and 554 pounds of actual food.
- Blue team: $3,060.25 and 891 pounds of food.
Using the food bank’s formula of 4.45 pounds of food for each dollar donated, the red team edged the blue team 14,560 pounds to 14,509 pounds.
Company HR director Suzie Cashin diplomatically proclaimed the competition a tie but added, “The Utah Food Bank was definitely the winner.”
“Thank you so much,” Trujillo said as she accepted the two oversized checks representing the donations Wednesday morning while dozens of RAM employees applauded.
RAM Company President Kevin Ganowsky, whose family donated another 20 turkeys that added 228 pounds to the overall total, thanked the employees for their generosity and support.
RAM Company designs and manufactures solenoids, solenoid valves and other electromechanical devices.
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