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SCOTT CITY–Wheatland Electric’s annual Cram the Van food drive has, once again, collected more food for local food banks than in previous years, raising a total of 44,576 pounds this year across our service territory!

This year’s collection brings the combined eight-year total to over 86 tons of non-perishable food items donated, which is a 573% increase since the program’s inception in 2014. (We collected 6,615 lbs. in our first year.) All proceeds have now been delivered to a dozen local food banks that serve our Wheatland Electric service territory.

Our electric cooperative held 13 in-person donation events throughout our southwest and central Kansas territory between September and October, where we collected both cash and can donations and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for our members as our way of saying “thank you.”

As part of our annual Cram the Van campaign, Wheatland also coordinated six school competitions in five area school districts (USD 428, USD 363, USD 466, USD 356 and USD 200), which helped us raise several thousand more pounds.

Thank you to our communities and local schools for showing us “Yes, WE Can!” Cram the Van and helping us generate another record-breaking year!

In addition, fellow electric cooperatives, vendors, sponsors, and other supporters from across Kansas also attended our third annual Co-ops Care Charity Golf Tournament earlier this fall to help us raise more monetary donations. Thanks to the generosity of more than 120 golfers and our own cooperative employees and volunteers, we raised more than $11,000 for our local food banks during our annual charity tournament.

In addition to in-person events, school competitions, and related events, our cooperative held an online Cram the Van donation campaign for the second year in a row to raise almost $2,600 in cash donations.

Thanks to our generous members, sponsors, schools, and communities, we were able to donate non-perishable food items and cash to the following food banks in southwest and central Kansas just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday ($1 donation = 1 pound of food):

  • United Methodist Food Pantry and Caldwell Food Bank, Caldwell – 2,211 lbs.
  • Conway Springs Mission Mart (Cardinals Care Campaign), Conway Springs – 3,173 lbs.
  • Emmaus House and Genesis Family Health, Finney County – 2,672 lbs.
  • Community Food Bank of Barton County, Great Bend – 11,132 lbs.
  • Harper Mission Mart, Harper – 3,841 lbs.
  • Horns for Hope c/o USD 363, Holcomb – 4,065 lbs.
  • Wichita County Food Bank, Leoti – 3,051 lbs.
  • Ministerial Alliance, Scott City – 6,266 lbs.
  • Hamilton County Food Pantry, Syracuse – 2,949 lbs.
  • Greeley County Food Bank, Tribune – 2,648 lbs.
  • Online donations: 2,568 lbs.

Total: 44,576 lbs. of food

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The Community Food Bank of Barton County received a total of 11,132 lbs. in donations from Cram the Van this year for the Great Bend community. Pictured here are John Sullivan (from right), Wheatland trustee, Mary Hoisington, member services and key accounts manager at Wheatland, and food bank volunteers Kathy Levingston, Dan Haselhort, and Ruth Behrens, who also serves as the food bank's president.
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Mark Arnold, Wheatland Electric trustee for District 7, presents a check for $1,320.27 to Velta Glenn, a representative of the Caldwell Food Bank. An additional $250 donation was also made to the United Methodist Food Pantry in Caldwell. A total of 2,211 lbs. of food donations were raised for the Caldwell community from our 2021 Cram the Van season.
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The Emmaus House in Finney County received $1,311 in donations from our funds raised during Cram the Van in 2021. A total of 3,173 lbs. of food donations were donated in Finney County. ​​​​Pictured here (from left) are Sara McClure, member services and key accounts manager at Wheatland, and representatives of the Emmaus House including Brittney Knoll, director, and Robin Marsh, executive director/CEO. 
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Genesis Family Health in Finney County received food donations and $1,121 in cash donations from our 2021 Cram the Van season. A total of 3,173 lbs. were raised for Finney County residents. Pictured here are Sara McClure, member services and key accounts manager at Wheatland (far left), and representatives of Genesis Family Health.
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The Harper Mission Mart received $1,121 in cash donations from our 2021 Cram the Van food drive. A total of 3,841 lbs. of food donations were raised for Harper County. Pictured (from left) are Mary Hoisington, member services and key accounts manager, Nathan Schrock, staking technician, Mike Alldritt, a representative of the Harper Mission Mart, and Wade Grumbein, area wide supervisor.
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Horns for Hope (c/o USD 363) at Holcomb High School received a check for $1,369.50 in addition to food donations from our Cram the Van events. A total of 4,065 lbs. were raised for the Holcomb community. Pictured here are students and teachers from Holcomb High School with Sara McClure, member services and key accounts manager at Wheatland (far right).
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The Wichita County Food Bank in Leoti received a check for $2,271 in addition to food donations from our 2021 Cram the Van season. A total of 3,051 lbs. were raised for Wichita County. Pictured here (from left) are Wheatland employees Kelley Burch, area wide supervisor, and Alli Conine, manager of member services and corporate communications, with representatives of the Wichita County Food Bank.
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The Ministerial Alliance in Scott City received a cash donation of $3,667.92 for Hope's Closet in addition to several thousand pounds of food donations. A total of 6,266 lbs. of food donations were raised for Scott County. Pictured here are representatives of the local food pantry with Wheatland employees: Damon Carmin, wireless tower technician (far left), Jevin Kasselman, director of IT/broadband (second from left), Katie Eisenhour, Wheatland trustee (third from right), Alli Conine, manager of member services and corporate communications (fourth from left), Rhei Thurman, executive assistant (second from right), and Andy Rodriguez, wireless tower technician (far right).
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The Hamilton County Food Bank in Syracuse received $2,648.52 from our 2021 Cram the Van season. A total of 2,949 lbs. of food donations were raised for Hamilton County. Pictured here are Stacey Addison-Howland (far left), Wheatland trustee, and Alli Conine, manager of member services and corporate communications (far right) with representatives of the local food bank.
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The Greeley County Food Bank in Tribune received $2,027.56 in cash donations from our 2021 Cram the Van season in addition to food donations. A total of 2,648 lbs. of food donations were raised for Greeley County. Pictured here are Mike Thon (far left), Wheatland trustee, and Alli Conine (far right), manager of member services and corporate communications, with representatives and volunteers of the local food bank.