Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Seventh Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Weekly Food Collection Project

February 23, 2009

Hi Folks,

Sunday couldn't have been better. The weather was terrific and we set a new record of 130 lbs which flew past our previous record of 78 lbs. Also, people donated $23. Last week I got $1.00. I like that kind of growth.

A few minutes before my start time of 11:30, Ernesto Portillo, the columnist from the Arizona Star, showed up and then proceeded to help me gather some food for the next hour and a half. He also did what he came for and interviewed a few Miles neighbors for his column on our One Can of Food a Week community service program. He told me the column will be published this Thursday.

I was surprised so many people knew Ernesto even though I was aware of his prominence as a writer/journalist here in Tucson. It turned out his folks lived on 12th Street when they were newly married. This made for lots of hugs and catch up conversations right after folks opened the door. Ernesto apologized for slowing me down but I said forget it, we're getting lots of food. This made him smile.

Speaking of funny moments, when Juliet on 12th Street answered my knock, she had a sizzling skillet in her hand that was cooking up two eggs and sausage. She told us to wait a second and darted back into the kitchen. I looked at Ernesto and said, "Don't you just love how smart the Miles neighbors are? They know enough to yank a skillet of the stove when answering the door. Better a few grease spatters than a burned brunch."

Before Ernesto had to run he asked me if I were going to collect food in the summer. I said of course, but I'm going to find a huge sombrero with a fan. Around 2 pm when it was 80 degrees and my hand truck was brimming with heavy cans, I decided I am going to have to come up with a better solution which will probably involve my VW Cabriolet or a golf cart.

I had planned to met with Kristin at her home on Cherry as I finished 15th Street. Last week Kristin told me she wanted to proved backup in case I couldn't collect food one Sunday. I thought about backup but has no solution...now I do.

We went east on Miles from Cherry. I had the hand truck with lots of cans in the box and Kristin pushed a stroller with a very cute baby girl inside and her 3 and 3/4-year-old son Sammy at her side. He's into fractions. Our parade may have looked unusual but nearly every house we called on said they would participate in the weekly food donation.

When Ernesto's article comes out I will send everyone a link to the story but I also suggest you buy the paper Thursday. Newspapers are in trouble, too and 50 cents is a small price to pay for some much appreciated publicity. Also, I am going to make copies of the article and hand them out to everyone next Sunday.

Have a great week.


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