With a winning 3-point shot, a Kansas State University student won himself 52 Qdoba entrees. That’s equal to one free meal a week for a year.
But Cameron Koger could go without Qdoba Mexican Eats. Even when it’s free.
So, after winning the “Qdoba Queso 3-point contest” during the K-State and University of Oklahoma game on March 9, Koger started his own contest.
“Tonight at the K-State game I won ... free Qdoba for a year.....,” he tweeted after the K-State men’s basketball team became Big 12 Conference champions. “I don’t really eat Mexican food though, so as a result I will be selecting someone that likes this tweet and sends me why they deserve the Qdoba to give it to.. good luck!
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Over the weekend, he received more than 100 replies. Many were trying to convince the K-State freshman in business administration on why they were worthy of free Qdoba.
One person who replied was another K-State student who has also won the contest before.
“I won it at the KU game and already used almost all of them so plz help refill my fiery passion for Qdoba to the rightful owner,” K-State senior Marc Waite said.
Others had their own reasons.
“I deserve this because i’m a broke college student and could use the free food,” one person wrote.
“I have a gluten allergy and qdoba is one of the only places I can go out to eat at,” wrote another. “I’m a broke college student and for 3 years qdoba has taken my money every day. your gift to me would help me tremendously with this horrible allergy.”
“I’m gonna be honest, I’m a poor, really love qdoba, and I wanna die early from eating too much (q)doba,” said another.
A couple of the people who responded didn’t want the Qdoba, but they had an idea.
“Not a reason why I need it. But maybe if you work with the managers at the store and you can donate a meal a day to the cats’ cupboard. That way a fellow cat that needs it can have a hot meal,” one K-State alumna wrote.
“Give it to a homeless shelter,” another response says.
Two days after Koger announced the contest, he announced what he was going to do with the 52 free Qdoba entrees. He said he read “countless” reasons why people felt they deserve the free food.
“And while all of you guys (for the most part) have good reasons why you want it, there are people out there that need it a little more...,” he wrote. “This’s why I contacted the Manhattan Homeless Shelter, who will be able to feed their entire shelter twice with the ‘52 entrees’ the voucher was for.”
Koger said he wanted the food to stay local “because I know Riley county is the most food insecure county in Kansas and I knew that 52 meals would go a long way here.”
In 2016, 13,410 people in Riley County were food insecure, according to the latest data from Feeding America. That’s 17.9 percent of people in the county. At K-State, 39.4 percent of students “who reported financial hardship indicated they had difficulty affording food” in a recent survey, according to Cats’ Cupboard.
“I know we are all fighting our own battles,” Koger said, “I just wanted to make sure with 100% certainty that the food is being put to good use.”
Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Inc. “is the only emergency shelter available to homeless men, women and families” in Riley County, according to its website. It served 707 people in 2016.
K-State Athletics gave Koger a round of applause — in emoji form, that is — “for thinking of others” after his win.
Tubby’s Sports Bar said it was proud of the student.
And even the official Qdoba account tweeted about Koger’s donation.
“What a great gesture to donate your prize to a good cause,” Qdoba tweeted. “We want to do our part and DOUBLE the amount of food to provide even more meals to the Manhattan homeless shelter!”
“We are really appreciative of his kindness and generosity, with Cameron’s donation we are able to provide two catered services to feed a total of 60 clients,” the emergency shelter told the Eagle in a Facebook message. “Since Qdoba is willing to match his donation we are able to double that and provide our clients a full catered meal four times this year!”