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Employees of auto-parts maker Faurecia’s Columbus operations have collected more than 6,500 pounds of food so far this month for a local pantry.
Through the end of the month, the facilities on County Road 450S and Gladstone Avenue will continue to try to best what’s collected at more than 40 other North American Faurecia sites. Combined, Faurecia’s employees in North America have collected nearly 170,000 pounds of food so far this year.
Each of the company’s sites supports a food pantry, and the local facilities will present their collection to Love Chapel, the biggest pantry in size and number of clients serving Bartholomew County.
Love Chapel is seeing about 800 clients per month, up about 100 since Human Services Inc. ended its food help at the end of July.
Faurecia launched the FUELS (Faurecia Unites Employees for Local Service) challenge in 2010 to combine the efforts of the Paris-based company’s North American operations, spokeswoman Deana Alicea said.
Deanna Havron, HR generalist and FUELS champion for the Columbus Tech Center, said the facility already has collected 3,844 pounds — 93 percent of its 4,140 pound goal, or about 10 pounds per employee. The Gladstone facility as of Friday had collected 2,760 pounds.
Havron said the connection between Faurecia and Love Chapel arose because about a dozen local Faurecia employees last September helped Love Chapel unload a truck and fill food baskets at Garden City Church of Christ.
“We really want to partner with the community,” Havron said, while also enjoying the company competition.
Employees also can donate cash, and the company is providing an incentive for cash donations by allowing employees to pay $5 to leave their slacks and white shirts at home on Fridays in favor of jeans and a sports jersey, Havron said.
The corporation also will donate $500 to each site that meets its goal. A weekly winner gets another $1,000, and the overall winner will get a boost of $5,000.
The company has collected enough food for 600,000 meals over the past two years, Alicea said, and this year hopes to reach a three-year total of 1 million.
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