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Sarasota County School Sets Guinness World Record

Sarasota County Public Schools

Pine View School Interact Club President Alex Hayes, left, and Principal Stephen Covert hold the official certificate from Guinness World Records recognizing that the school holds the world record for the most sandwiches made in one hour.

Last year, Pine View School's Interact Club sponsored a sandwich-making event that involved more than 600 people and produced 5,721 sandwiches for local charities in Sarasota County. The previous record of 2,706 sandwiches in one hour had been set by a New York City delicatessen only nine days earlier.

The participating students recently received confirmation from Guinness World Records that the school now holds the world record for making the most sandwiches in an hour. The finished sandwiches were delivered to five area food banks for distribution. Supplies were provided or purchased through contributions from local sponsors and unused funds were donated to Life for a Child, a medical charity that provides insulin for children with diabetes in Haiti.

The project also increased awareness of dietary sensitivities among students. The organizers decided that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would be quick, easy and inexpensive to make, but also realized that a significant number of people have severe allergic reactions to peanuts. The resolution to that dilemma came from the makers of a soy-based sandwich spread called Wowbutter. In exchange for advertising the spread, the company donated all the Wowbutter the team needed.

As it turned out, they needed 500 pounds of Wowbutter, 400 pounds of jelly and 540 loaves of bread to get the job done. Although they made detailed calculations in advance, they actually underestimated their team's capabilities. They had to stop after only 30 minutes and 24 seconds because they ran out of bread.

After accepting the certificate from Guinness World Records on behalf of Pine View School, Principal Covert congratulated the Interact Club for a job well done. He noted that in true Pine View tradition they did not just beat the previous record by 100 or 200, but by more than 3,000.

He told students he was particularly proud that their project demonstrated a sense of social responsibility in providing food for the needy, recognizing the need for the awareness of food allergies and using their surplus contributions to provide medical aid for children.

Current Interact president Alex Hayes said he was inspired by the Pine View students' drive to exceed expectations. "We didn't just help Sarasota County; we helped another country," he said. "That's what we're all about."