Camp Out for Hunger brings in food by the ton
After four days of camping out outside of a Wal-Mart in Cape Coral, a local radio station collected thousands of pounds of food for those in need.
“Big Mama and the Wild Bunch Morning Show” with B103.9 hosted the third annual Camp Out For Hunger from Tuesday through Friday at the Wal-Mart on Del Prado Boulevard South. The crew, including Big Mama, “Babs” and Adam Star, broadcast live each morning, spending the rest of the time in an RV.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida and St. Matthew’s House, a food bank that helps support Collier County, benefit from the fund-raiser.
“The food banks are so low,” Jason Jones, or “Big Mama,” said Friday.
“You have to do something to pay back the community,” he said.
According to Jones, the crew collected more than 15,000 pounds of food. They also received more than $2,000 in monetary donations, which equates to about $12,000 worth of food when used by the food banks.
“It doubled from last year,” he said of the food amount.
The goal was 10,000 pounds of food.
“The Cape people always turn out,” Jones added.
One person who turned out Friday was Cape resident Amy Gaziano. She explained that she had dropped off items earlier in the week with her two daughters, but returned with more “because it’s the right thing to do.”
“There’s people a whole lot worse off than I am,” she said.
Gaziano even brought the morning crew a treat – pasta and short ribs.
“They’re feeding everybody and I just wanted to feed them,” she said.
Cape resident Vickie Heinaman also stopped by on Friday to donate $10.
“It’s a good cause,” she said. “I think it’s really great.”
Babs explained that camping out with her two male co-hosts for a couple of days is not so bad because they are like brothers, and it is for a good cause.
“It is worth it,” she said.
Originally from Detroit, Babs understands what it is like to be in need of assistance through what her family and her grandmother went through.
“I just know how hard it is out there for people,” she said.
Asked about those who stopped by this week to donate, Babs recalled the story of one woman who told them that she used the food bank last year.
“So, she came and donated. She’s giving back,” Babs said, eyes tearing up.
“Always remember that you can be in that situation,” she added.
Naples resident Karalynn Hatz might not be part of the morning crew, but she made sure to show her support for the station and the fund raiser this week by volunteering her time at the event and helping to raise awareness.
“I thought they needed a little more enthusiasm,” she laughed.
Hatz called the focus of the fund raiser an important cause.
“It’s an ongoing problem. People are out of work,” she said, acknowledging that she herself is currently unemployed. “It gets tough.”
According to Jones, the amount of food items collected during the fund-raiser is expected to last the food banks about one month. He noted that people can and should continue to give because there are people in need.
“Just because the food drive is over doesn’t mean that they don’t need food,” Jones said.