Just how long are 320,000 hot dogs lined up end to end? Well, it's enough to wrap around New Hampshire Motor Speedway's 1.058-mile oval 25 times. That sure is a lot of protein. Now it's up to New Hampshire Food Bank to distribute it, as it received on Wednesday 40,000 pounds of hot dogs on behalf of Speedway Children's Charities New Hampshire Chapter and partner Smithfield.
The donation is part of Smithfield's Helping Hungry Homes tour, the company's coast-to-coast effort to help families and individuals become more food secure. Through this program, Smithfield, along with charities like the SCC, has donated and delivered more than 25.4 million servings of protein to food-assistance organizations across the country.
"We have gone from Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Fla., and we usually have a partner, and in this case it's New Hampshire Motor Speedway," said Dennis Pittman, director of corporate communications for Smithfield. "This is part of a nationwide program that we started on Friday with NASCAR in Charlotte. We have eight loads of hot dogs and each load is going around the country where NASCAR has race tracks. This is a very enjoyable thing for us."
Representatives from New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Smithfield and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas made the trek to the NH Food Bank, which distributes over 8.5 million pounds of donated, surplus food to more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers and senior citizen homes in the Granite State annually.
"We're the only food bank in New Hampshire and serve around 143,000 that don't know where their next meal is coming from," said Mel Gosselin, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. "This is a really big day for us. We don't typically have tractor-trailer trucks packed with protein pulling up to our doors. The timing is perfect and we are very grateful for this generous donation."
Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway, went so far as to don a plastic foam "Hat Dog" to celebrate the occasion. The Magic Mile welcomes over 200,000 fans through its gates over the course of its two major NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends per season. That's over 25,000 pounds of hot dogs, on average, that's purchased from the concession stands over the course of those two weekends.
"It's a great partnership with Smithfield to make this donation and bring all these hot dogs to New Hampshire - the most hot dogs I've ever seen in one place," said Gappens. "This is a perfect example of what Speedway Children's Charities does best. They try to find assets and resources and get them into the hands of the children and families of children that have special needs at this time."