a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Saturday, August 27, 2011

That's a lot of food

                                                             Scott Beveridge photo

MEADOWLANDS, Pa. – Jake Karp of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., above, sorts food today as it arrives to the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane Township as the clock winds down on its efforts to break the world record for the most food collected in a 24-hour period.

The Great American Food Drive, which began yesterday at 8 p.m., had collected nearly 200,000 pounds of food by about 2 p.m. today, far short of its goal. The casino must collect more than 559,885 pounds of food by 8 p.m. to make the Guinness Book of World Records, organizers said.

"I feel pretty confident we are going to make it," said Ken Westcott, a former mayor of nearby Washington, Pa., and a member of the Washington County Food Pantry board.

Several tractor-trailer trucks had arrived at the casino with food and were awaiting the scales.

But the drive would need another four truckloads and additional donations to break the record, said Chris Plumtree, the pantry's coordinator of charitable giving.

"It's not about breaking a record, but about raising food to help people," Plumtree said.

UPDATE: The casino fell short of its goal, but did collect a whopping 431,000 pounds of donated food and marked a Guinness notation in a category now known as the Great American Food Drive. That record will need to be broken in the future by any other food pantry that attempts to break it, a casino spokeswoman said. The food collected in this drive will feed 10,102 families, she said.

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