PB&J Day was a small event that took place during Trina Van’s early years at William Davies Middle School in southern New Jersey.
“I loved to do things that I could do at school because I was still doing service despite my limited driving options,” Van said.
Now, as the secretary and director of community service events for Main Campus Program Board, the junior neuroscience major brought a much larger PB&J Day to Temple.
“I thought the best idea was to bring something that people could do on campus so that they can still help with the community even if it’s between classes,” she said. “You could come in between classes, it’s casual, just grab gloves, make sandwiches.”
Yesterday in the Liacouras Center, she helped organize Temple’s PB&J Day which, in addition to helping the community, broke the Guinness World Record for most sandwiches made in one hour. With 49,100 total sandwiches made by more than 1,500 students, faculty, community residents and alumni, Temple broke the record by nearly 10,000 sandwiches.
93-and-a-half boxes, each holding 525 sandwiches, were filled by the volunteers, said Christina Conlon, the official adjudicator for Guinness World Records.
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, a fast food chain restaurant, held the former record for most sandwiches in an hour in June with 39,303 total sandwiches.
Sydnee Jacques, a senior psychology major, was one student who helped break the record.
“It is not often that you get to have students, faculty and everyone come together, especially in this type of social setting for a good cause,” said Jacques, who is on Homecoming court. “Just all around it is positive, people are going to have a good time today and I think that as a Temple student myself and speaking for the community, we just need to enjoy this and also make sure we do more stuff like this in the future.”
Student Body President Aron Cowen said the event was a great way to kick off Homecoming Week because it got “a lot of students involved and it is something that is fun and helps the community.”
“There is alumni, I heard we have some young middle schoolers here, so it is really bringing young and old together for this, which is great,” he added. “[Temple Student Government] has a table. They told me if I could do one sandwich every 90 seconds, I’m good. I’ve been practicing. I got the swish of the jelly knife.”
This is not Temple’s first time hosting a PB&J party, but is the first of this size.
Last year, Steinhardt Jewish Heritage Programs, an organization started in Philadelphia that works to increase Jewish volunteer work on college campuses, hosted a PB&J-a-thon at Temple resulting in 478 sandwiches, which were donated to St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence, a men’s shelter near Main Campus.
The sandwiches will all be donated to organizations throughout the Philadelphia area like Youth Emergency Services, Bright Hope Baptist Church and Our Brother’s Place. Champlost Homes, a community center and after-school care program, is taking 30,000 of the 49,100 sandwiches to distribute to churches, soup kitchens and to people on the street.
Leftover ingredients will also be donated to organizations in the city.
“Obviously we don’t want any of these sandwiches to go to waste and Philadelphia has such a large homeless community,” Van said.
Conlon said Temple’s sandwich-makers looked “extremely organized” and to beat the record by “such a huge margin is impressive.”
“To beat it by almost ten thousand is really blowing it out of the water,” Conlon said. “And for a record that is all about helping the community, I mean that is ten thousand more sandwiches that are going to feed hungry people.
Emily Scott and Erin Moran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.