CRESTVIEW — When city offices closed early Oct. 24 for staff development, training and team building, residents who benefit from the services city employees provide weren’t the only beneficiaries.

After the program, a city pickup truck laden with nonperishable foods dropped them off at the Crestview Area Shelter for the Homeless.

With shelter staff and residents pitching in, Mayor JB Whitten, City Manager Tim Bolduc and city Events Coordinator Cody Suggs soon unloaded nearly 800 cans, boxes, bottles and packages of food ranging from items like canned spaghetti and vegetables to breakfast cereal, ramen noodle packets, and soup.

“This was such a wonderful blessing,” CASH kitchen manager Amy Kennedy said as she surveyed the piles of food that had taken over a facility meeting room.

Addressing the plight of Crestview’s homeless is one of Whitten’s major initiatives. In August he announced the formation of a community committee to address the problem.

City departments competed to donate the most food to the shelter. The City Hall team won, donating 350 items.

A combined team composed of staff from the Parks and Recreation Programs Department and the Crestview Public Library came in second, with over 270 items. Donation totals were coupled with points earned during team-building events.

“It was fun and it was for a good cause,” Code Compliance Administrator Senida Oglesby, part of the City Hall team, said.

“It was two-fold: It brought us together as departments and it helped the community. Nothing feels better than giving back to our city. Plus, we won the trophy,” she said.

“We can’t thank the city workers enough,” Kennedy said.