The P&B Crunchers and the M.H. Food Fighters went toe-to-toe Oct. 19 in a battle to help end hunger in the Sonoma community.

Teams from Mike Hudson Distributing and challenger Pisenti & Brinker LLP got their game on packing food boxes in Redwood Empire Food Bank’s first Corporate Throw-Down Challenge.

Thirty-one employees from both companies collectively donated 47 volunteer hours, packing 480 food boxes with 14,400 pounds of food, which will provide 12,000 meals to those in need.

The nonprofit food bank depends on volunteer support to help sort and prepare these boxes for distribution, and hopes the event will inspire other local businesses to participate in a Corporate Showdown.

“Pisenti & Brinker is excited to be the first company to launch this program for the REFB. I hope it is a financial blessing moving forward, and fuels the REFB’s mission to feed the hungry,” said Jodi Shubin, event organizer, and director of client and community relations at Pisenti & Brinker.

The REFB handles nearly 1.3 million pounds of food each month, and distributes thousands of food boxes filled with healthy staple foods to those in need. Food items are carefully selected to meet the nutritional needs of seniors, individuals managing diabetes, and families facing food insecurity.

Corporate philanthropy brings teams of employees together to strengthen and serve the community, and in a matter of hours, helps put food on the tables of hundreds of community members facing hunger, officials at the food bank said.

“Community engagement and supporting our neighbors in times of hardship are values embedded in the foundation of our company,” said Diane Moore, marketing manager with Mike Hudson Distributing. “Over 350 food manufacturers reside here in Northern California, with a majority based right in Sonoma County. One of the most important issues facing this four billion dollar industry is finding solutions to end hunger in our communities. Through the contributions of the many food manufacturers in the North Bay, we collectively work toward this goal.”

Contact Jen Oberti, at 707-523-7900 x123 or joberti@refb.org to learn more.

Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.