One of the signature events of the Wawa Welcome America weeklong festival was a little different this year -- but with a tasty twist for people in need and local heroes.
Wawa Hoagie Day on Wednesday featured the mega-hoagie building that is a feature of the festival -- but instead of one public location, one store in each of the six of the states where Wawa has locations -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, Maryland as well as Washington, D.C. -- built their own signature mega-hoagie.
Each store then donated those hoagies to nonprofits serving the local community, and Wawa released a video of the hoagie builds.
"Hoagie Day is really about giving back and we wanted to continue that tradition," Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce said.
Every one of Wawa's hundreds of locations pitched in to build 50 hoagies each that were handed out to local heroes, food banks and others in need.
Wawa Welcome America
Something to Celebrate, Together at Home - Summer 2021
"For the first time ever, all 900 Wawa stores in six states and Washington, D.C., will be making hoagie history by each building 50 hoagies at one time to donate to local food banks, first responders, veterans’ organizations, USO centers and health care workers for a combined total of 45,000 hoagies donated in one day," according to the Wawa Welcome America website.
The main hoagie event started at noon. The "Hoagie Day Heroes" were honored throughout the communities Wawa serves.
“Hoagie Day is an annual Wawa tradition that all of us look forward to with great anticipation, and while this year may be a little different, we can’t wait to celebrate and expand on this event in new and exciting ways,” said Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens said. “This year, we couldn’t be more excited to recognize our local heroes, help fight hunger, and celebrate our tradition of giving back and bringing customers together through digital formats."
Among the local groups receiving free hoagies on Wednesday were Philabundence, the Veteran’s Multi Service Center and Philadelphia Police Athletic League.
Wawa is also teaming up with the USO's Campaign to Connect to help send 2 million messages of support to U.S. troops. The company raised nearly $1 million for the USO last year.
The Wawa Foundation will match in-store donations up to $50,000 through July 19, with the money going to the USO.
About those hoagies ... so what does it take for 3,000 Wawa workers to build 45,000 Shorti hoagies weighing in at 13 tons around the country? Wawa breaks down the ingredients (in pounds):
- Shorti Rolls - 5,096
- Oven Roasted Turkey - 5,356
- Italian Meats - 5,171
- Provolone Cheese - 3,067
- Iceberg Lettuce - 2,718
- Tomatoes - 3,275
- Onions - 900
- Oil - 960
- Oregano - 36
If you now have an appetite for a Wawa hoagie, order on the app, pick up at your local store and be sure to give back to the USO in the process.