• Last modified 831 days ago (April 30, 2020)


Goessel's weekend food sale raises $19,200

Sale draws 690 patrons to benefit Mennonite Relief Sale

Staff writer

When Keith Banman heard Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale’s Hutchinson event was cancelled because of COVID-19, he knew he wanted to do something to help.

Banman got the idea that he would donate meals from his catering business operated out of his Goessel grocery store, and people would make a donation to KMRS, supporting Mennonite Central Committee efforts.

“I imagined that we would serve 100 meals, maybe 200 meals tops,” Banman said.

Instead, they served more than 600.

The sale, which was proposed two weeks ago, ended with $19,207.55 collected Sunday. The traffic in Goessel circled around the grocery store in a steady flow for two hours.

The effort was promoted on MCC’s social media account and area Mennonite church bulletins. What was expected to be a local project expanded to include people from five counties.

MCC usually auctions cars, but Banman knew he wanted to go in a different direction Sunday.

“I don’t work with cars,” he said. “I work with meals.”

People called in to reserve meals in exchange for a minimum donation of $15 a meal. Banman started getting reservations that exceeded 400, then 500.

“I finally had to stop accepting reservations,” he said as the count approached 700.

Oven space was approaching maximum capacity, and Banman spent most of last week preparing for Sunday’s event.

Ham loaf, corn, baked potato, salad, zwieback and choice of pie were among menu choices. Twenty volunteers helped Sunday to satisfy demand.

By the time the day ended, 690 meals had been distributed.

“I am ecstatic, this is incredible,” Banman said. “We probably would have had reservations for over 1,000 if we had not set a limit.”

Last modified April 30, 2020