The numbers are in and once again city employees did their part to help local families in need.

The Big Blue Bus, which spearheaded the 15th annual food drive competition between city departments, announced this week that a total of 29,001 pounds of canned goods and other non-perishable food items was collected during the latest drive. The food will be distributed to families in need throughout Santa Monica and the Westside, city officials said.

New to this year’s campaign was the opportunity for the public to donate food at special bins placed around town, or give cash through an online donation center set up by the American Red Cross in Santa Monica. All donations benefited the American Red Cross, which distributes food to agencies around Los Angeles County, including the Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica.

The departments that donated the most food in their categories are:

• Small department: City Attorney’s Office — 8,500 pounds.

• Medium department: Library — 5,953 pounds.

• Large department: Big Blue Bus — 2,859 pounds.

City employees donated $4,312 and online donations came in at $885, which when totaled is equivalent to 25,985 pounds of food. Together with the 3,016 pounds collected from the food bins around town, the grand total was 29,001 pounds of food donated, which will go directly to local families, city officials said.

Recipients of the American Red Cross of Santa Monica include the Westside Food Bank, which feeds more than 70,000 people each year; WISE Senior services, which operates local senior centers in the area; and Meals on Wheels, offering mobile food service for local senior citizens.

The annual food drive ran from Nov. 26, 2010 to Jan. 10, 2011.

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