FARMINGTON — Public employees provided ECHO Food Bank with more than 20,000 pounds of food as part of a friendly fundraising competition among some local governments.

The cities of Aztec and Bloomfield, and San Juan County participate in a fundraising effort that matches their employees against each other. The government with the most pounds of donated food per employee wins.

The three governments combined to donate 21,842 pounds of food. The vast majority 17,242 pounds came from San Juan County employees. Aztec donated 2,569 pounds and Bloomfield gave 2,030 pounds of food.

Per person, county employees donated 25.8 pounds each, about a pound more than Aztec employees, and four pounds more than Bloomfield employees.

It was the fourth year the governments faced off against each other.

"It's a good when you have competition. It's a good way to get people to participate," said Stewart Logan, the safety and compliance director for the county who helped organize the drive.

Logan said San Juan County's hefty donation was the result of employees pushing each other to donate.

"We got the word out and encouraged fellow employees to give," he said.

Farmington didn't participate in the food drive this year. The city will be doing its own food drive in February, said Debbie Homer, a parks and recreation employee.

Vicki Metheny, the food services director for ECHO, said the amount of food collected during the drive would be enough for 2,000 emergency food allotments, which are given to families dealing with a crisis.

The food collected in the drive will be spread through all ECHO programs, which include the food bank, homeless shelters and other food pantries around the county.

The drive comes at an important time for the food bank, Metheny said. ECHO is preparing Thanksgiving meals for more than 200 needy local families in addition to serving the 3,000 people per month who take advantage of the food bank.