RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Entrepreneurs and high tech companies across the state helped the Council for Entrepreneurial Development raise more than $37,000 for the 2006 Heart of Carolina Food Drive in November and December.

The CED and partners Intersouth Partners, Square 1 Bank, Inspire Pharmaceuticals Motricity launched the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge and issued a $30,000 challenge. The funds raised helped the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina provide more than 335,000 pounds of food to needy recipients.

"We need creative solutions to end hunger for thousands of children, elderly and the working poor, said Jane Cox, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern N.C. “On behalf of everyone, thank you to all who participated in the CED’s Entrepreneurs Challenge. I believe that only innovation and love can find the cure for hunger."

CED President Monica Doss was the chair for the food drive.

For the year, the food bank gathered 767,325 pounds of food, nearly 300,000 pounds above the 2005 total.

“CED was pleased to see the entrepreneurial community respond so passionately to the Entrepreneurs’ Challenge,” Doss said. “Entrepreneurs from throughout our region helped the Food Bank exceed a very ambitious goal in the fight against hunger.”

Top five contributors to the CED effort were: William E. Morgenstern, RTI International, Campbell Alliance Group, Smith Anderson Blount Dorsett Mitchell & Jernigan LLP and Sicel Technologies.