The Stone Soup competition, in its second year, enabled Alameda County to smash its all-time record for employee donations to the County's annual Holiday Food Drive in support of the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
County employees donated more than 8 tons of food and over $8,000 in cash to nearly double the County's previous record, set last year.
"This shows that when we mobilize our 9,500-plus employees, we can really make a difference," said Susan S. Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator. "Our dedicated workforce and executive leaders are generous, creative and committed to improving our communities and the lives of our residents."
The food drive's success was achieved by creating some friendly competition between County departments that were urged to rise above their peers in terms of total donations raised and to test their artistic know-how by creating compelling sculptures/art pieces using donated food cans, boxes and packages. The displays, which have adorned Alameda County public buildings over the past several weeks, all focus on the theme of hunger.
In all, 14 County departments participated in this year's competition. Using food items they created several imaginative displays, including: a replica of Hayward's historic Meek Estate Mansion; a "Kingdom of Can-a-Lot and the Knights of the Full Table;" a detailed model of Oakland's Rene C. Davidson courthouse; a model of the robot "Wall-E," that combines food packages with some high-tech gadgetry in a depiction of the Pixar Animation movie character; and a replica of the Oakland shoreline, complete with the Port of Oakland's towering cargo cranes.
"These amazing displays are what people are talking about as they pass through our County buildings," said Keith Carson, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. "We hope that the generosity and creative talents of our employees inspire others to have conversations about the basic needs of our communities and take action to help end hunger here in Alameda County."
A panel of five judges reviewed the entries made by 14 different County departments in this year’s competition. Winners in this year's Stone Soup competition were:
- Best Recipe Award: Information Technology Department
- Chef's Award: Auditor-Controller
- Most Creative Award: Registrar of Voters
- Most Innovative Award: District Attorney's Office
- Honorable Mention: County Administrator's Office
- Honorable Mention: Office of the County Counsel