Food drive is rolling with 'Stuff-a-Bus' haul Annual holiday event expands to two sites -- and 3 busfuls of goods

November 23, 1998|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The bus seats were packed yesterday -- not with people, but with food -- as residents, spurred on by a friendly rivalry between two radio disc jockeys, dropped off donations to the Bags of Plenty campaign.

The "Stuff-a-Bus" event filled 1 1/2 Mass Transit Administration buses with food for the needy at each of two sites -- in Glen Burnie and Carney -- in the weekend campaign for the Maryland Food Bank. MIX 106.5's two morning drive-time announcers vied to see whose location could net a larger haul, and it was a close contest.

The honor goes to JoJo Girard, who broadcast from the Glen Burnie collection site south of the city, where just a tad more food was donated, said Dave Burgess, promotions manager for the station.

The bet was for the loser to walk scantily clad at 8 a.m. tomorrow around Towson Circle. Kenny Campbell, who was in Carney, will be on parade, Burgess said.

"I thought they were deluded to have two places," William Ewing, executive director of the Maryland Food Bank, said last night. "I thought instead of having the big impact of two buses and one site, they'd have one bus at each site. But two buses at each site? Isn't it amazing? I just love it."

Station officials were similarly surprised at needing to ask the MTA, one of several sponsors, for a second bus for each site halfway through the campaign.

For five years, Stuff-a-Bus, with its live broadcasts, was located only at the Giant supermarket in the shopping center at Perring Parkway and Joppa Road in Carney.

After Anne Arundel County and South Baltimore listeners complained about having to travel halfway around the Beltway to donate food, sponsors opted for a second site, the Giant supermarket in Glen Burnie's Southdale Shopping Center.

"This is the first year I have had a real job, so I'm giving back," said Diana Soltys, 26, of Severn, formerly a substitute teacher and now a child care worker. She shopped for herself and for the hungry at Southdale.

"I had a certain amount I was going to spend. But I had money left over, so I went back in," she said.

"This is to help the poor people out," said Ron Goings, 53, a resident of a Baltimore Association for Retarded Citizens group home in Overlea, whose residents collected 11 bags of food.

Burgess expects this weekend's drive will yield about twice last year's total of 35,506 pounds of food. The Maryland Food Bank gives away about 12 million pounds each year, he said.

Bags of Plenty is in its 13th year. The food drive runs through Saturday. Donors are urged to drop off nonperishable food at any Giant Food store in the region and at Baltimore City fire stations. Other sponsors of the weekend drive include The Sun and WMAR-TV (Channel 2).

Pub Date: 11/23/98

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