Because Lanaea Heine doesn't know exactly how much food the Corporate Volunteer Council's food drive collected, she describes it this way:
"The food went to six different food pantries, and each got an equal amount," she said. "Penn House came to pick theirs up with an empty, full-sized van that had no seats. When they left, it was full to the brim.
"However much food that is, times six, is how much we collected."
Heine, director of the Roger Hill Volunteer Center, said about 25 volunteers sorted and distributed the food Monday afternoon at the Kansas Public Service service garage, Eighth and Pennsylvania, along with several KPS employees.
The CVC was recently formed to involve local businesses in volunteer efforts. Heine said she was amazed at how much food was collected during the drive, which ended Friday.
"I think all the agencies receiving the food were overwhelmed," she said. "At least one had to make two trips because they didn't bring enough vehicles. They were surprised by the amount we had."
For example, Sally Mae employees donated almost 3,000 cans of soup, far exceeding their goal of 1,200. At KPL Gas Service, employees collected about 3,700 boxes of macaroni and cheese, Heine said.
The other 11 corporations encouraged their employees to bring anything non-perishable, and people responded with canned meats, fruits and vegetables, boxed dinners, breakfast items and baby food.
The donated food went to the Ballard Center, Lawrence Indian Center, ECKAN, Penn House, the Salvation Army, and the Help Connection in Eudora, Heine said.
She said the food drive was the CVC's first project.
"If only a dozen companies can make this much difference, it's exciting to think what we'll be able to do when more get involved," she said.