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.


Monday, April 20, 2009

15th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Dan the manager at Safeway said that the Saturday after Easter is generally slow. There seemed to be fewer people streaming by our little table into the store but we collected nearly 32 lbs. of food and $9 in cash. I also met Ben, a gentleman who is very involved in charity work around Tucson. He really liked our One Can A Week program and equated our growing success to a drop of ink in a glass of water. Like the ink, he said our program will spread out slowly in all directions. He had some ideas on how he might participate and said he would contact me in a week
or so.

Taking A New Approach
Generally when I work on a project I take names and numbers and follow up rather quickly. With One Can A Week, I am behaving differently. I give out all of the information and wait to see if people are really motivated to get involved. Aisley and Peter McCallum from the Barrio San Antonio Neighborhood exemplify my new personal approach which allows things related to One Can A Week to happen organically.

Just Being Neighborly
I met Aisley and Peter at a Miles Neighborhood meeting and explained what I was doing. Aisley called a week or so later and we had a terrific sandwich at Beyond Bread. Then a short time after that, I got another call and they were ready to begin. This was only their second Sunday collecting food for the Community Food Bank but it was a big day. Their total was 158 lbs., beating their first week’s total of 43 lbs. by a mile.

Pictured are Aisling and Peter McCallum with their Super Shaded Hand Truck. Aisling makes a point that they’ve collected lots of food but they are only half way through their neighborhood route. They are take charge people who really take charge and their success shows me that I must keep on talking and be ready to help when someone speaks up.

Speaking of speaking up, if you know someone I should talk to about One Can A Week, please tell me and I will be happy to meet with an individual or a group.

Two Carts – 25 lbs. of pinto beans and a pair of
black pants
We had 222 lbs. of food and 44 lbs. of fruit for a total of 266 lbs this past Sunday. (We also had $16.56 in cash.) This bettered last week's total by 38 lbs.

One of our neighbors tossed in a pair of new pants (top of left cart) with his soup cans and amazingly the Community Food Bank accepted them. They generally don’t take clothing but when there is a donation, they give the garments to the homeless.

It's really great that with each passing week, we keep moving forward. This pattern of success I know will convince other neighborhoods to join us in our endeavor to eliminate hunger here in Tucson.

See you next Sunday.


Monday, April 13, 2009

14th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

A lot of interesting and important things happened last week.

The Barrio San Antonio Neighborhood
Aisling and Peter McCallum collected food in their neighborhood on Sunday, becoming the second official neighborhood association to donate food weekly to the Community Food Bank. They collected 42 lbs. from their neighbors which bettered my first collection by 20 lbs, They even got some Easter candy including a large Dove Easter Bunny. The mother who donated the candy said she wanted to get the stuff out of her house and away from the kids.

If you know Aisling and Peter, call them and give them your support. It's a good thing they are doing.

Safeway Saturday
A few weeks ago Barbara Farragut had an idea about reaching out to other neighborhoods ...especially the Sam Hughes Neighborhood...and suggested we set up a little booth at Safeway. I talked to Dan, the manager at Safeway and he liked the idea. So from 11:30 am to 3 pm Barbara and I compli- mented each other on the foresight to wear layered clothing so we could talk to all of the people entering or leaving Safeway without chattering our teeth. It was cool standing there. But what also helped was the warm reception we received. We met a sea captain from Sam Hughes who delivered sail boats around the world and was gone months at a time. But he knew someone who would be interested in the One Can A Week program. He said he would probably get back to us soon.

Then Krystal and her daughter stopped by and she immediately took to the idea. She saw her roll as a coordinator because she knew all kinds of folks in the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association. She too said she would get back to us in a short time after she read our blog and talked to people.

I am going to have that booth at Safeway for as many Saturdays as possible. The manager thought at least 2 or 3 times a month would be appropriate. As we gain more success, I then want to set up booths at other Safeways around Tucson to introduce One Can A Week to more neighborhoods. This idea of Barbara's is a terrific slow growth concept and will give One Can A Week more credibility with each passing week.

KIIM 99.5 FM Radio
The top radio station in Tucson also had a booth and their "Prize" Slot Machine across from us at Safeway. I told Barbara that I was going to talk to someone at their booth about One Can A Week when they started to pack up. Lois Lewis, KIIM's Mon - Fri,7 pm - midnight Air Personality -- whom I listen to every night before falling asleep, believe it or not -- had a better idea. She came over to talk to us and said she liked the One Can A Week idea and would mention it on the air. It felt good to talk to an important Tucson personality without having to make a nudge of myself. If you don't listen to Lois you should. Her show is very informative and fun...in addition to her great picks. Here's a link to her page on the KIIM-FM website. http://www.kiimfm.com/showdj.asp?DJID=33420

Miles Sunday Collection
It was Easter and all of us had to leave more "Sorry We Missed You" cards than ever before, but we still collected enough food to beat our previous record by 6 lbs. We had a total of 228 lbs which included 188 lbs of food, 32 lbs. of fruit, 8 lbs of non food items and $35.31 in cash. We think next Sunday will be great and maybe there will be lots of left over ham and chocolate bunnies.

Intended Consequences
As many of you have heard me say, part of my plan, besides collecting food for the Community Food Bank, is to unite the Miles Neighborhood so we really feel part of something. Well, it's happening. Three people asked me to deliver some important and useful information to all of our Miles neighbors.

Joey and Bob on 12th Street - All of the PCPL Libraries, April 13th - 18th will take $1.00 off late fines if you give them one can of food for the Community Food Bank. You can give them up to ten cans which translates into $10.00 off late fines.

Jeff on Miles Street - He is a member of the Kiwanis Club and has a great deal on Tucson Toro's baseball tickets. http://www.tucsontoros.com/ For $30.00 you get 10 tickets for the May 29th game. That's a $20 savings. And besides the funds go to the Kiwanis Club, a wonderful international organization dedicated to helping children and young adults around the world. Please contact Jeff at 400-7895.

Richard Fimbres on Miles Street for Tucson City Council Ward 5 - Democrat - Richard is in the early stages of his campaign and needs 200 $10 or more dollar donations and 354 valid signatures to qualify for the Council office which is not much when you think about it. Let's all help him reach his goal. I know I'm going to help him because he is my neighbor and a good guy. You can reach Richard at fimbresforcouncil@gmail.com or 520-481-8012.

See you next Sunday.


Monday, April 6, 2009

13th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

We continue to collect more and more food each week and I am sure Kym, Barbara and Lenny have something to do with it. Either the cans they are picking up are getting bigger or they are charming an extra box of spaghetti or can of tuna out of their neighbors, Whatever it is, it keeps me smiling. This week the totals were 88 lbs of fruit, 186 lbs of food (8 lbs. more than last week), 18 lbs. of non food items and a $5.00 donation.

On Sunday we also delivered a printed report to our neighbors on how much food we have collected over the last quarter. The feedback was very positive. They liked knowing the totals and look forward to the next report. See the report in the 12th Week Update. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

CFB Receipt Book
Shown here is the official Community Food Bank receipt book. Each week we get a receipt listing all of our donations. This is the informa-tion that is tabulated in the quarterly report. (Click to enlarge.)

Here's some really good news. This coming Sunday, Aisling from the Barrio San Antonio Neighborhood next door will begin collecting One Can A Week from her neighbors for the Community Food Bank. Barrio San Antonio is the first official neighborhood to join us in our quest to eliminate hunger here in Tucson. If you have friends or family in the Barrio, please give them a call and tell them to expect a visit from Aisling. It's always a little difficult making those cold calls, neighbors or not, so I am sure any help we can give her will really be appreciated.

Safeway Supermarket
This Saturday Barbara and I will have a little booth in front of the Safeway Supermarket from about 11:30 am to 3 pm. We will present our One Can A Week program to anyone who will listen.
Come by if you have a chance. We think this will be a great opportunity to speak to people from other neighborhoods and I think with Barbara's very friendly approach, I'm sure many will be happy to participant. (Click graphic to enlarge.)

Also, once Safeway sees the response, they may allow us to set up every Saturday. After all, our program sells at least one more can a week to those customers who join the program.

Kiwanis Luncheon
It was fun presenting to the Kiwanis Club on Thursday. The members liked the idea and a few said they would think about it. If I hear back I'll let you know. Besides the tasty free lunch, I got a chance to practice my spiel about One Can A Week and... I now own a smart ballpoint pen with Kiwanis printed in gold on the barrel.

See you next Sunday.