Food Drive Competition benefits the Manna House in loads

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe
Dodge City Middle School and Comanche Middle School participated in a food drive competition collecting 7,071 items of food for the Manna House of Dodge City. Pictured are DCMS STUCO members, USD 443 maintenance and Manna House volunteers.

Who said a little friendly competition didn't benefit anyone?

Dodge City Middle School and Comanche Middle School engaged each other as they participated in a Food Drive Competition from Dec. 1-16, with all proceeds going to the Manna House in Dodge City.

DCMS students and staff collected 3,325 food items, while CMS collected 3,746 food items, collectively a grand total of 7,071.

“We have never seen a food drive like that ever, never,” said Steve Tabor, who currently operates the day-to-day operations at the Manna House. “This was just beyond my expectations with what we received.”

STUCO student Anguel Santivanez Noriega deliveres food to Manna House of Dodge City on Dec. 16.

Tabor has been overseeing the Manna House since the death of former director Michael Hoar in late November. Tabor was the previous director of the Manna House from 2014 to 2019 before Hoar and was asked to supervise operations until a permanent director can be found.

“Mike would have been just as touched as I am, probably even more because we knew how hard it was to raise funds and food to give out to people,” Tabor said. “If people do not know there’s a need then they don’t give, but if they know there’s a need, then maybe they’ll open up their hearts and their wallets and give. It’s one of those things you have to go out and tell people that there is a need.”

STUCO students Sicily Lari and Ashley Alonso prepared to deliver food to the Manna House of Dodge City on Dec. 16.

“We dedicated the food drive to Mike and had a trophy made in honor of his work for our community," DCMS teacher and STUCO sponsor Danna Pogue said.

Pogue, along with CMS teacher and STUCO sponsor Grace Wright, were the organizers of the Food Drive Competition.

Since they were the winning school, Comanche Middle School will keep the trophy until the next food drive.

In the past, both schools had done their own individual STUCO food drives and donated to the Manna House, but due to the affect COVID-19 has had on steady employment for many, they decided to come together on a unified front.

Tabor said that because of COVID-19, the Manna House has been able to give more, as they have been constantly receiving food donations and cash donations to buy more food to provide to people who need it.

He said he was still surprised at how much DCMS and CMS were able to raise.

The food was brought to the Manna House via one trailer from each school, and Tabor said he was shocked as STUCO students, maintenance people and Manna House volunteers unloaded crate after crate to the point they were filling the hallway and dorm rooms.

DCMS collected 3,325 food items and CMS collected 3,746 items of food for the Manna House in Dodge City, making it one of the largest food donations in Manna House history.

“We put it wherever we could, we could use it all and I can give a lot more food to people that need it,” said Tabor. “This has been a great food drive, we hardly had to throw anything away, that’s a good thing about it.

“Without this community support, we wouldn’t have been able to do this, and a great big shout out to those kids.”