The power of radio, and free fresh strawberries

This morning after 9am, KLPZ announced a free-for-all, as a wrecked semi-load of fresh strawberries found its way to the front of the radio station at 6th Street in Parker. In a shorter time than anyone imagined, hoards of radio listeners had crowded the small street outside to get their crates of strawberries.

Parker Towing’s Mark Schifo had offered to give them away to locals, food banks, shelters, jails and others after ending up with the rig. Insurance companies who write off the damage typically instruct towing companies to dispose of the produce, but on this occasion gave him permission to give them away rather than waste them. Mark said it felt good to do something for his community.

Within 52 minutes of 10am, KLPZ listeners and their friends and families had cleared out 10,000 cartons containing an estimated 200,000 strawberries.

KLPZ has always known its listening audience to be vast and engaged; the independent radio ratings agency Arbitron rates KLPZ 1380am as the premier radio station in the area with thousands listening during any part of the day. But it’s another thing to see those listeners respond so quickly during work hours.

The station apologized in person to many listeners who showed up too late, saying that the rush of listeners coming to take how strawberries had been much bigger than expected.

This has happened before. In November 2010, a semi load of frozen peaches bound for Jamba Juice stores across the U.S. crashed, and KLPZ helped give away pallets full of them to listeners.

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