Cram the Van Tops 11.5 Tons in Donations
2 ½ ELEPHANTS. 11 ½ TONS. What do these have in common? Well, that would be how many tons of food Cram the Van has collected in the last three years. Get the picture? That's a lot!
Wheatland recently completed our third annual Cram the Van food drive, collecting 9,363 pounds (more than 4 1/2 tons) of food and $1,206.65 for local food banks and the people they serve in Kansas. Every donation collected in a particular community stayed in that community to benefit its local food bank.
We set out with the goal of topping 10 tons in total donations and with the help of you, our generous members, we blasted right through it. This year’s drive lasted just over six weeks and featured 11 stops in 10 different communities as the big red van made its way throughout Wheatland’s territory. Donations were also collected at our seven offices and two other drop off points in Conway Springs and Caldwell.
We challenged our members to help Cram the Van with non-perishable food items or cash donations for your local food bank and you responded—to the tune of more than 4 ½ tons this year—2,300 pounds more than last year!
“When we started this event three years ago, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Bruce Mueller, general manager of Wheatland “We were just hoping to make a positive impact in the communities we serve. I don’t think anyone imagined anything like this. Our members have really gotten behind this program. This was our biggest year yet and to surpass 11 tons in total donations is incredible. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year’s drive a success, we couldn’t do it without you.”
At most Cram the Van events, Wheatland served a meal and, in exchange, its members “paid” in the form of canned goods and cash donations. Cram-the-Van events varied from cooking hamburgers at home football games to grilling hot dogs and brats in front of community grocery stores. The final event of the annual drive has quickly become a community favorite in Scott City and a big source of donations. The event, complete with two food slides that drop donations directly into the van, pumpkin decorating, marshmallow roasting, hayrack rides, a pumpkin seed spitting contest and a free meal, is a fun time for all.
“These events are a lot of fun. We enjoy being out in the communities and getting a chance to interact with the members and joining forces for a good cause,” said Shawn Powelson, manager of member services and corporate communications for Wheatland. “It’s a lot of work but it’s very rewarding. Making the deliveries to the local food banks is one of my favorite parts. I love seeing the looks on their faces when we start unloading, literally, a ton of food at some locations. They’re always so appreciative of the donations, whether it’s a ton or a few hundred pounds.”