93.3 WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show braved the cold weather December 2nd to the 6th at Xfinity Live! to collect donations for Philabundance. Preston and Steve’s week long stay at The Camp Out for Hunger in a camper at the Philly sports complex proved to be well worth it, as they raised 386 tons of food and $240, 521.97 to help feed thousands of families across the Greater Philadelphia area.
“It ends up being a tiring but fun week,” said Nick Mcllwain the show’s producer, “It’s cold and we’re out there all week long, but we have a great time.
Individuals who came out to donate to the Camp Out were able to stick around and watch The Preston and Steve Show broadcasts live. The “fun” included a slew of musical guests and celebrities. Among them Senator Pat Toomey, the Philadelphia Eagles Drum Line, Eagles player Jon Dorenbos, Matisyahu, and even M. Night Shyamalan were just some of the guests who stopped by to participate. Live music was played each day and movies were shown at night for visitors to watch as well.
“Our corporate sponsors are a huge help, but the individual donations are what we rely on,” explained Nick, “More and more every year and with the state of the economy, Philabundance becomes more reliant on these donations. One of the sad states of things is the number of people who are able to donate has gone down. So we’re just happy to do whatever we can to help to stock the shelves at Philabundance.”
Indeed, the Camp Out for hunger is the largest food drive that supports Philabundance and has been held for the past 16 years. These donations are critical to low income families, including the working poor, who make too much money to get food stamps but still struggle to put food on their tables. According to Lindsay Bue, Philabundance’s PR Coordinator, Philabundance helps 72,000 families a week and around 900,000 are people at risk of food insecurity in the Delaware Valley.
“Philabundance has faced many challenges this year,” said Lindsay, “The need has increased more than 20% over the last year, and SNAP (Food Stamp) benefits were recently cut for every person participating in the program. This means that more people are coming to Philabundance and our agencies for food assistance and as a result, it is more difficult to keep the shelves stocked.”
Corporate sponsors contributed greatly to these critically needed donations. Acme Markets set-up a temporary store on site at Xfinity Live! for individuals to buy items to donate. They also allowed customers to buy bags of non-perishable goods in their stores weeks before the Camp Out. McDonald’s, AT&T, and First Niagara were among the many businesses that were key contributors.
However, as Nick Mcllwain explained, they rely heavily on individual donations. The individuals that come out greatly help to relieve this ongoing need for food at Philabundance .
“It’s hard to put a number on the amount of donations we need because we constantly are sending food out into the community.” explained Linsday, “Hunger is a problem that lasts all year-long and Philabundance needs ongoing support from the community in the form of funding, food and volunteer hours.”