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Giant spud rolls through Monroeville to raise awareness for Meals on Wheels

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By the numbers

A few facts about the giant potato:

• The potato — which is made of a steel beam rib-cage, sculpting foam and polymerized concrete — took nearly one year to build.

• It weighs 12,130 pounds — or about the same as 32,346 medium-sized potatoes.

• If real, it would make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes.

• It would take more than 10,000 years to grow a potato of that size.

By Kyle Lawson
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Christine Schnelbach was sitting at a red light on Route 22 last Friday when a potato the size of a semi truck rolled past.

“I saw it go past and asked (my daughter) if she saw the giant potato,” Schnelbach said. “She looked at me like I was nuts.”

The Idaho Potato Commission celebrated its 75th anniversary this year by strapping a 28-foot-long, 12-foot-wide spud to a flatbed trailer and sending it across the country to raise awareness and funds for Meals on Wheels.

On Friday, a public relations group known as the Tater Team accompanied the potato as it passed through Monroeville en route to a stop in Johnstown. The tour is scheduled to include more than 50 U.S. cities.

Joel Friend of Greensburg was in Monroeville with friends when he said he recognized the attraction from a commercial that encourages people to tell the Idaho potato, “it's time to come home.”

“We get that all across the country,” said Tater Team member Taylor Pagel. “It takes a little time to get used to, people yelling at you to go home.”

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or

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