Monday, November 16, 2009

45th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

The Economy is Recovering but There Are Even More Hungry Children
In the recession of the early ‘90s I had to give away what was left of my little graphic arts company in Princeton, NJ and hit the streets. After many desperate months I landed a freelance proofreader job in the Merrill Lynch corporate art department. That turned into a fulltime, middle management Design Directors job. Saved.

The opulence of the Merrill Lynch Princeton corporate headquarters was something to behold. In essence, it was a 30-story building on its side. It took 15 minutes to walk from the Creative Department on one end to the cafeteria on the other end. Completely glass walled on one side and carpeted the full length of the quarter mile I was constantly impressed with the artwork, live plants and shiny gold stuff everywhere. One day a year of so into my tenure at Merrill I stopped by my manager’s office and told her that on my way back from lunch I had an attack of gratitude and wanted to thank her for my job.

I had another attack of gratitude today when I opened my email and read The Washington Post report on more Americans going hungry. The story is terrible news but we are doing something about the situation and have been at it for more than 11 months now. What I’m grateful for is my caring neighbors who decided to help me feed people in need. Just wanted to let you know.

Other Irons in the Fire
Rick Stertz, the gentleman who invited One Can A Week to the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association meeting a couple of weeks ago, is contacting the management at the Rincon Market to set up a meeting for me. Our hope is they will initiate One Can A Week for their customers. Will keep you posted.

Last Friday I dropped off The New York Times article and other One Can A Week materials at KIIM Radio. I will be talking to Amber Crowe, Director of Promotions, maybe early next week. She is returning from vacation Tuesday so she needs time to jump back into the game. This may be a good match because they run an annual diaper drive around Christmas and my thinking is if they get involved with One Can A Week, they can collect diapers throughout the year and help more needy babies.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend I will meet with Brian Simpson, Director of Communications at the Association of Arizona Food Banks to talk about…well, as Brian wrote in his email “how we may be able to help you spread the message, as well as some of the struggles you run into.” New approaches, new information, that’s going to be a fun meeting.

More on Villa Hermosa
Jack Steindler stopped me on his way out of the Old Pueblo Rotary Club meeting today and showed me the first Villa Hermosa Senior Residence food collection quarterly report. I could tell he was kind of proud of the results. Also he mentioned that Shannon Iggi, the Activities Coordinator, is doing a great job running the program week after week and that he’s happy so many of his resident friends are participating.

Making a Difference…Twice
Early Sunday morning Barbara Trujillo on Miles called to say PJ, her 12-year-old son had collected more food from the roller derby fans Saturday night and he’d have it ready when I stopped by. I figured there would be 5 or 6 hefty shopping bags but as soon as I drove up to the house, I remembered how much the fans liked PJ and his commitment to helping the hungry. All the food he collected completely filled up the Cabriolet and amounted to 189.5 lbs. When added to PJ’s first roller derby donation, he has collected a whopping 533.5 lbs. That’s enough food to feed 136 folks three meals in one day. This is a big deal for a 12-year-old kid. Wonder what he’s going to accomplish when he older…say when he’s 13?

A Very Good Weekend, Indeed
With the help of PJ Trujillo we collected 342 lbs. of food, 8 lbs. of produce and 1.5 lbs of pet food for a total of 351.5 lbs. We also donated $6 in cash. This is our second best week ever. The first was the other PJ food jackpot he orchestrated in June at this mother’s championship roller derby event. Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. Let’s see if we can donate another two carts of food this Sunday…just because…and give PJ our thanks and a well deserved rest.

See you Sunday


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