Smack talk at City Hall: Food Drive nets 1,214 lbs.

The Economic Development team brought in 236 cans and other food items and shaped them into a Christmas tree.

COVINGTON, Ky. - It was a week of trash talking and showboating at City Hall, but in the end all the “competition” was for a good cause: Some 1,214 pounds of food was collected for one of the agencies that feeds families in Covington.

The food drive started out with a low-key request for employees attending the annual employee Christmas luncheon to bring a canned good for Be Concerned Inc.
But one thing led to another (yes, you should blame the wordsmiths and professional smack-talkers from the Communications division for being instigators to the extreme). And -- by the time of the luncheon -- various departments were using “spies,” memes, and even hired “security” in attempts to outdo each other.
Today, City workers on their lunch break filled the bed of a pickup truck with the food and delivered it to Be Concerned, where it was weighed and will be sorted and shelved.
“We’re extremely appreciative of all of our community support, especially from the City,” said Andy Brunsman, executive director of Be Concerned. “There’s a lot of need out there, and the food City Hall collected will go right into our Christmas Pantry Program, which is feeding more than 750 families this holiday season.”
Brunsman said he was amused to hear of the competition at City Hall, which essentially was a spur-of-the-moment “contest” with no rules, no assigned teams, no judges, and no prize.
The Economic Development team led by Tom West not only brought in the most food - some 236 cans and food items - but came in late the night before the luncheon to arrange it in the shape of a decorated Christmas tree.
Not to be outdone, the Finance Department - which is led by Muhammed Owusu - brought in 212 cans and made them into a snowman.
The tiny and exhausted Communications division, which put all its creativity into the week of incisive wit to the amusement (annoyance?) of its co-workers, simply arranged its 115 cans and items into a wall in an attempt to block the view of Economic Development’s tree.
Other departments and offices were apparently too overwhelmed to report their totals and simply brought in boxes and bags of cans to add to the growing pile.
City Manager David Johnston said he was impressed by both the camaraderie and the compassion. “I love how our folks here are vested in the community,” he said.

Communications' attempt to shape the visual message.

The Finance Department's "snowman."

Santa's "sleigh" delivered 1,214 pounds of food to Be Concerned.