Toyotetsu Mid-America and United Way of the Ohio Valley have partnered to fight hunger and prevent housing displacement.

TTMA has challenged other manufacturing companies to join the two-week competition which involves raising funds and gathering non-perishable food items.

The company that raises the most dollars and the company that collects the most food will each receive a trophy. All donations will benefit agencies that provide food, housing, and utility-related assistance.

The event began Monday and will finish on March 29.  Participating companies include TTMA, Daramic, Domtar, Hunter Douglas, and Metalsa.

Lindsey Cline, Human Resources Specialist for TTMA, said the last year has been a roller coaster for everyone and they wanted to see what the needs in the community were currently.

“After discussing the food need and housing displacement concerns we decided to start an initiative and thought what better way to get people involved than to make an area-wide company challenge,” she said.

Blaine Mathew, Manager of Digital Communications and Innovation for the United Way of the Ohio Valley, said United Way is on the front lines working and serving through the pandemic.

“With our regular agency meetings with shelters, food pantries, and utility assistance providers we are able to keep our fingers on the pulse of community needs,” he said. “We recognize that many are going without food and struggling to pay utility bills, rent, and mortgages. With this at the forefront of our minds, it just made sense to partner with one of the largest employers in our community, TTMA, for this event.”

Cline and Mathew both hope to make this a yearly event.

“To know it takes something so small to become something impactful for our community is really special,” Cline said.

Mathew said he expects this event will grow exponentially and that more manufacturers will come alongside to make a lasting impact year after year.

“Giving back is what we do,” Mathew said of United Way. “As the pandemic progresses, the needs in our community will continue to grow. UWOV will continue its support and to encourage all people to live united.”