Great Bend Cookie Contest organizers donated $865 on Monday to the Community Food Bank of Barton County, located at 3007 10th St. The donated proceeds came from the 11th Annual Great Bend Cookie Contest that was held during Small Business Saturday last week, involving 170 cookie judges venturing throughout 24 business locations to taste cookies and vote for the best cookie in town.
With a suggested donation of $5 each, record participation by judges netted the largest donation given from the annual contest to the food bank.
The donation was gladly received Monday afternoon by a bustling crew of 10 food bank organizers and volunteers who were busily taking care of those in need of food, and restocking shelves. Food donations have increased the past few months, said food bank board vice president Bob Essmiller. That’s a testament to the generosity of individuals, churches and businesses, he added. But he knows that keeping the food bank stocked takes a continued effort.
“We’re in great shape right now because we’ve had some large food drives come in recently, and thank you to our generous community for that,” said Essmiller. “But January is typically one of our busiest months, and after a few months, we will be in short supply once again. This money will help to supplement food items when donations slow down for us.”
Community Food Bank operates under the auspices of the Barton County Association of Churches and is organized to distribute food to Barton County residents in crisis situations. The food bank serves more than 7,000 people a year, averaging approximately 600 people a month, and is reliant on community donations and volunteers to keep its doors open.
“There are a lot of people behind the scenes who do a tremendous job,” said Dan Haselhorst, who has volunteered at the food bank for the past five years. “There are as many as 80 volunteers a month, and some of them have been here for more than 15 years. It takes a lot of dedicated people to make this work.”
Community Food Bank of Barton County is open from 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year to serve Barton County residents in need of food.