The third annual Delta County Memorial Hospital "holiday food fight" was a huge success. Hospital departments competed in teams to see who could donate the most food, toiletries and pet food for local food banks, with close to 5,700 pounds donated this year.
The grand total for 2015 was 5,696.15 pounds of food, toiletries and pet food, compared to 3,147 pounds in 2014 and 3,494 pounds in 2013.
The food donations were evenly divided among the Delta Food Pantry, Abraham Connection, Hotchkiss Elks Food Pantry, Surface Creek Community Services and the Surface Creek animal shelter.
Contributions came from all nine hospital teams and one generous anonymous community member who heard about the food drive and donated 750 pounds of rice and beans.
The top team was lab, maintenance, surgery/PACU and anesthesiology, with 1,463.4 pounds of food. Second place with 1,207.1 pounds of food was radiology, quality services and medical records. Third place with 807.4 pounds of food went to the DCMH clinics - Internal Medicine, Premier Women's Healthcare of Delta, DCMH Family Medicine - Delta/Hotchkiss, DCMH Primary Care - Family Practice, Physical Medicine and Rheumatology.
"A special thanks to the hospital staff of maintenance and nutrition services for all the help organizing, packaging and lifting. It wouldn't work without you," commented Mary Grosvenor, manager of the dietary department at DCMH. She also mentioned Sharon Wolf from radiology, who sent out an email challenge to all hospital employees to beat last year's record donations. It worked!
"This is a great thing we do for our community," said Grosvenor.
"It is a privilege to be able to give back to the community we serve. I'm very proud of the caring nature of the hospital employees and their dedication to our community," commented hospital CEO Jason Cleckler.
In the Christmas spirit, DCMH employees also "adopted" 45 local area underprivileged families and children as part of the St. Nicholas Project managed by Maryann Hennessey of Delta. They provided families with warm clothing, snow boots and toys.