Tuesday, April 28, 2009

16th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

You Can See Us Now
Barbara Farragut’s friend at Spencer Signs (2021 E 13th St.) created our new display sign which runs the full length of the 4-foot table we stand behind at Safeway. It’s hard to miss as people walk from the parking lot into the store. We say “Hi,” and the conversations about the Community Food Bank just start right up.

Barbara was able to join me again Saturday and help me talk to the shoppers at Safeway about One Can A Week. We met a young teach who was just laid off but she said she would introduce our weekly food collection program to the new neighborhood she was moving into next week. After she left and without saying a word to each other, Barbara and I added a bit more resolve to our commitment to help the hungry.

The Word Is Getting Out
Another teacher from the Miles Middle School talked to us about introducing One Can A Week to her students. She thought it would be a great and simple way to teach giving back.

Then a counselor for CODAC who lives in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood said a number of her clients are involved with the Community Food Bank and she hears the stories about them getting just one box of food per month instead of two. I told her that’s why we’re collecting in our neighborhood. She donates to the Community Food Bank regularly and said she would also talk to her friends about implementing One Can A Week in her neighborhood.

It is apparent, after our many conversations with the shoppers at Safeway that the reality we know is becoming the reality for most in the surrounding communities. This is a good thing even though thinking about people in trouble is so troubling.

Over Stuffed Cart
This week we weighed in at 194 lbs. for food and 18 lbs. for produce totaling 212 lbs. A stellar showing but the record this week was the $57.00 we collected in donations.

Grant From Quaker Oats
About a month ago the Community Food Bank told me about a grant Quaker Oats was offering individuals or groups trying to “combat hunger’ in their communities. I applied and last Monday, to my surprise, I was awarded $500.00 to help me defray expenses. I am going to buy One Can A Week signage for my Cabriolet plus gas for the year and signage for the volunteers’ collection carts. Within 30 days of receiving the grant I have to send back a video telling Quaker Oats how I plan on spending the grant. That should be fun talking about my neighbors’ wonderful generosity which forced me to upgrade from a simple hand truck to a patio umbrella covered, food toting Cabriolet machine.

How You Can Apply For The Quaker Oats Grant
If you or an organization you know is combating hunger in the community, click on the link below and complete the online form. http://quakeroats.promotions.com/gogrants/splash.do

Grant Application Copy
Here is how I described our One Can A Week food donation program on the Quaker Oats online grant form. Hope this helps.

Imagine if every household in the Miles Neighborhood left a can of food on the porch every Sunday between 11:30 am and 5 pm. Would anything change? Would there be less hunger in Tucson?

Every Sunday most of my Miles neighbors participate in my personal community service program called "one can a week." They place at least one can of food on their porches which I picks up for delivery on Monday to the Community Food Bank. I have picked up food for the past 11 Sundays with the poundage increasing each week. Three of my neighbors have volunteered to help me. My only need is a golf cart because the food is so heavy. See onecanaweek.blogspot.com to read weekly updates I send to everyone.

The One Can A Week food donation program is helping to feed hungry families in Tucson in addition to involving entire neighborhoods in community service.

Quaker Oats is offering 20 $500.00 grants per month for five months beginning in April.

More Help From A Miles Neighbor
In my rounds on Sunday I stopped by to talk to Jeff on Miles and he mentioned something I think all Miles Neighborhood homeowners should hear about. Jeff is in real estate and he told me he just modified his payment—not refinance his mortgage obligation—on his home. He said he would be glad to explain and then help others to go through the process. Please contact Jeff at 400-7895.

See you next Sunday.


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