RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The Council for Entrepreneurial Development and four of its member firms have launched a food and fund-raising drive with the goal of delivering 500,000 pounds of food to the Heart of Carolina Food Bank.

Intersouth Partners, Square 1 Bank, Inspire Pharmaceuticals and Motricity also have teamed up to offer a $30,000 match to entrepreneurs.

“The Heart of Carolina Food Bank plays a crucial role in feeding the hungry in our community,” said Monica Doss, the CED’s president who is chair of the food drive. “With more than 400,000 people living at or below the poverty level in the 34-county service area of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, a strong commitment from everyone is needed to ensure no one goes hungry this holiday season.”

The food drive runs through Dec. 15.

“We’re asking entrepreneurs and the service providers who work with them to match that amount through company food drives and individual donations,” said Mitch Mumma of Intersouth Partners. “Entrepreneurs have unique approaches to solving problems, and today we are calling on that creativity to help feed the hungry in our community.”

ABC 11, along with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and Kroger, are sponsoring the 20th annual Heart of Carolina Food Drive.

For each dollar donated, the Food Bank can purchase five to eight pounds of food.

To participate as an organization, company or individual in CED’s campaign, please contact CED’s Evelyn Williams (ewilliams@cednc.org or 919.549.7500 x 125) or visit CED’s virtual food drive web site: www.foodbankcenc.org/virtual_drive/CED.asp