Monday, November 23, 2009

46th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

On the National Front, according to Alexa, the web information company, is ranked 234th in worldwide popularity. So you can imagine, lots of people are reading our article in their Impact section. Just today I heard from Sue in Hightstown, NJ who wrote: “I came across the information about your wonderful initiative, One Can a Week, on Huffington Post this week. I had been looking for some charitable work that was a little more important that sorting clothes at the local thrift store (although I like that, too) and think your idea is a winner. You may remember Hightstown from your years in New Jersey since we're less than 15 minutes from Merrill Lynch. While things are not really bad in central NJ, a food kitchen has started here and it's been too busy.

“I'm just starting to work on my OCAW (One Can A Week) plan and plan to start knocking on neighbors doors the week after Thanksgiving. I'll be printing out your 'starter kit' (thanks for that!) and will keep you posted.”

It’s nice to see we are getting some responses from some very thoughtful people who really get what we are trying to accomplish. Too bad we can’t be on the Huffington Post website every week.

Getting Personal Just Like One Can A Week
Nicola Goren, the Acting CEO for the Corporation for National and Community Service just sent out a memo announcing a new program that is designed to encourage neighbors all over the country to think about feeding their hungry neighbors. Sandy Scott at the CNS who has helped introduce me to writers at The New York Times and USA Today sent me an email saying he thought the new program “fits will with” what we are doing here in the Miles neighborhood.

Here’s Ms. Goren’s memo: “As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, let us also pause and acknowledge that many of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table.

“A recent hunger report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that 17 million households, or 14.6% of all households in America, were food insecure in 2008 and had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year. In the midst of our great national abundance, this statistic is incredibly sobering.

“Of course, the Corporation and our grantees already support and participate in numerous anti-hunger programs, from meal preparation and delivery to nutrition education and gardening, in communities across the country.

“But this year, in these particularly tough economic times, the Corporation will also be launching a new United We Serve initiative, Feed A Neighbor, in collaboration with the White House and USDA. Our purpose is to raise public awareness of hunger issues and ask Americans to help ensure that their neighbors have access to nutritional food this winter and throughout the year.

“We will announce Feed A Neighbor early next week in a press conference call with Secretary Vilsack and direct people to to search for local volunteer opportunities that address hunger issues and an anti-hunger volunteer toolkit.

“My challenge to you is simple and straightforward: 1) find an opportunity yourself to serve this holiday season, and 2) spread the word about Feed A Neighbor.

“We will also be asking anti-hunger organizations to post their volunteer opportunities through one of the many aggregators that feed listings to All for Good, the national database linked to

“Thank you for your help as we continue to work together to tackle this problem.”

No, thank you!

Supermarket Savvy
Rick Stertz is a man of his word. Last week he said he’d contact the Rincon Market and on Saturday he wrote in his email to me, “I spoke with Ron (Abbott) (the owner of Rincon Market) and he was quite receptive to the idea of "Buy A Can/Drop a Can" Food Bank Campaign. (That’s the food industry’s take on One Can A Week.) He would like to see a proposal of ideas and then meet with you.”

In my letter to Mr. Abbott which I will drop off tomorrow I explained that One Can A Week—at its core—is a very appealing capitalistic idea. The supermarket suggests that customers should donate at least one can/non perishable item every time they shop. There is a large donation bin near the front of the store and throughout the store are special items, some times sale items, promoting food donations. As the customers check out there should also be a display near the cashier which he or she can mention.

Supermarkets are always asked to donate food but now with “Buy A Can/Drop A Can” they can donate even more food, make a little money, sell more products, get better volume wholesale pricing and pass those savings onto their customers. Now that’s the capitalism I love.

Thoughtful Thanksgiving
Liz Altamirano on Miles Street imagined 3 families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner and bought them each stuffing, gravy helper and cranberry sauce. Others like Mike and Tamara
on 12th Street had their own food drives in their offices and collected bags and bags of food. Even Mike’s mother donated a $100 check. All of this wonderful holiday kindness throughout our neighborhood filled two large shopping carts. For the week before Thanksgiving we collected 249 lbs. of food and $142.00.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and see you Sunday.


No comments:

Post a Comment