PHILADELPHIA—So what, exactly, does 81 tons of food look like? Well, it looks like Samantha Bell and husband Tom, who organized a Pay Pal account to collect over $2,000 in donations to purchase food items for Saturday's inaugural Phil-A-Trunk event in South Philadelphia. Or Ryan Stone, who hooked up a trailer packed with food to his Jeep and rolled it through the drop off line. Or another Ryan, this one Ryan Cathrall. He stuffed the back of his Willy's JK Wrangler full with all kinds of food. So much so that the vehicle jumped up over a foot when all that food was unloaded.
It looks like 203 Porsche vehicles and 102 Jeeps helping fill the Citizen's Bank W and X parking lots on a chilly and overcast weekend morning. It is many area car clubs as well with Camaros, Mustangs, Ferraris, Volkswagens, and others. All dropping off food. All helping out. It is even those like Rachel Cortijo and her husband who drove their Jeep Gladiator down from North Plainfield, New Jersey, as a spur of the moment thing after they read about Phil-A-Trunk online.
And then it is all the volunteers who made sure vehicles were emptied as quickly, and safely, as possible throughout the day.
It takes all of these things, combined, to achieve such a large food donation amount, and it takes everyone combined to help put a dent in hunger this holiday season for the area's less fortunate.
For that was what all 81 tons of food looked like Saturday—the spoils of a literal food drive involving thousands to kick off the week-long WMMR Camp Out For Hunger.
When the final food numbers were tallied, the Phil-A-Trunk event's total donation reached 162,556 pounds—just over 81 tons. Porsche, once again, led the way with 20,663 pounds, while the Jeep contingent finished at 14,127 pounds.
"Just an overwhelming success," said Jeff Walton, president of Riesentoter—the southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the Porsche Club of America, in a Facebook post. "Prouder, I could not be. You should be proud, all of you who participated for our first time with such an event. Amazing job and to top it off, it was fun as well."
Walton, as well as other club members, helped organize the event and worked with the Philadelphia Phillies organization, as well as Philabundance, the region's largest hunger relief organization, to make sure all 800-ish vehicles moved safely in the lot and through the food drop off location. Live music, food vendors and an event-ending raffle also rounded out the day.
In year's past, it was the Riesentoter Porsche group and Jeep clubs who came together during one night of the Camp Out to drop off food. However, the sheer scale of hundreds of Porsche and Jeep vehicles filled with food made overall coordination difficult, as well as clogging the food drop off spot and area streets for hours on a busy weeknight.
So Walton and others worked to build a more-inclusive event this year that could offer every Jeep and Porsche owner who wanted to come down, as well as owners of numerous other car types as well, a chance to donate—all while keeping the event's footprint more centralized.
Saturday's food drop off was Quadratec's sixth year either playing a role with the Jeep clubs during Camp Out week, or donating itself. The company accepts canned food drop-offs all year long at its monthly Jeep and Java gatherings, as well as October's annual tent sale. It also contributes various raffle prizes as a 'thank you' chance to everyone who spent time collecting and donating food.
This year, between company donations and those from Jeeps and Java and the tent sale, Quadratec ended up trucking down nearly 3,800 pounds of food—the most brought along during its six-year span.
"It is really an amazing thing to watch grow all year long," said Quadratec Outside Events Marketing Specialist Cory Cole. "We set the boxes out during Jeeps and Java Sundays and really hope those who attend bring along a few cans to donate. It really doesn't take much for everything to add up all year long, as we are fortunate to have such generous customers who attend our events."
"They are really more than customers to us; they are friends."
Last year, between the Jeep and Porsche clubs, nearly 70,000 combined pounds of food were donated. So this year's 162,556 pounds raised was a major spike and certainly showed what numerous groups can do when given the chance to come together for a good cause.
"What counts is the total amount of food Phil-a-Trunk raised for the kickoff event for Preston and Steve's Camp Out for Hunger," Walton said in a Facebook post. "Thanks to all of you who donated, volunteered, and sponsored. You will have changed the lives of so many people in the Philadelphia Area."
WMMR’s week-long Camp Out For Hunger, now in its 22nd year, is the country’s largest single location food drive, with 1.8 million pounds of food donated last year, as well as $198k raised for Philabundance.
Quadratec Channel Editor