The smell of fresh cooked meat and sound of laughter, quickly followed by the silence that accompanies any good meal, was evident throughout Texas Roadhouse Tuesday evening.

The mood began as lighthearted until the sound of a buzzer rang out, halting all camaraderie and signaling the beginning of the fifth annual Battle of the Badges rib-eating challenge.

Each year, teams from the Muncie Police Department (MPD) and Muncie Fire Department (MFD) are tasked with being the first to finish eating a plate full of food: two racks of ribs, green beans and loaded mashed potatoes. The winners are awarded 10 percent of Texas Roadhouse’s sales from that day to donate to the charity of their choice.

While the competition was stiff, MFD’s team, made up of five competitors, was named this year’s winner after devouring their plates in just under 28 minutes. 

The group donated their winnings to Toys for Tots, a program MFD runs in Muncie that was started by the United States Marine Corps Reserve to distribute toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas.

“It’s always nice to be able to give back to the community,” said Fire Chief Eddie Bell. “That’s the biggest thing.”