Monday, February 1, 2010

56th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Answering the Call
This week the two boxes Barbara picked up from the Circle K on Broadway and Cherry were filled with slightly green and slightly spotted bananas. This surprised me considering that nearly all of the bananas Circle K donated last week were on their way to banana heaven. Apparently, the manager at Circle K realized donating to the Community Food Bank is serious business so he or she only gave Barbara viable food.

Right after picking up the bananas from Lenny and Barbara, a neighbor on 12th street who was out for a bike ride stopped me. He’s a commercial fisherman and had just gotten back from spending the summer and fall in Alaska. He has a great deal of fruit ripening in his backyard and wanted to tell me he will be ready this Sunday. We had a conversation about his fruit trees months ago and he remembered our plan the moment he saw me.

John Abbott at the Rincon Market called just after lunch today and said he had lots of recently out of date potato chips he wanted me to pick up. He remembered that the Community Food Bank accepts package goods 6 months beyond the “best buy date” and one year for canned goods.

It is apparent that the Circle K manager, the fisherman neighbor and the supermarket owner have their hearts in the right place but it took someone to offer to take their donations to the Community Food Bank to open the flood gates. Of course, they know where the Community Food Bank is but it is a bit disruptive and really not good business to drop everything and take some food to them. However, give these folks a phone number or a schedule and they know exactly what to do because it is good business and it is really good for the community.

Tomorrow at 10 am I am meeting with Bobby Rich at Mix-FM. I’m going to talk to him about how he might help me find other volunteers who don’t have any trouble answering the call and picking up the food. We engage enough of those folks and hunger ends in Tucson.

New Record Second Week in a Row
After a year of carting food in my car on Mondays
to the Community Food Bank I can pretty much tell how many pounds I collected. Generally I am only off about 10 lbs. With two full boxes of bananas in the passenger seat, I knew we hit another record because the back seat and trunk were jammed to near capacity. The final tally was 628 lbs. of food, $33.50 in cash and a $100 check. (The Axis Food Mart—photo on the right—donated 370 lbs. of the total and the $100 check.) We passed our last week’s record by 52 lbs. Next week I’m just going to have to remember to put a little more air in the tires.

Looks Like Lettuce…the Spendable Kind
Breakfast at the Rincon Market is warm and friendly Saturday mornings which helps folks up their generosity as they head out the door to get on with their day. I started with a dollar and some change in the dish (that suggestion last week from Mavis, if you recall) and in a few hours I had $49.90 in cash and 13 lbs. in food. As the breakfast crowd gets used to seeing One Can A Week every Saturday, I know they are going to participate even more. Their 30% increase over last week’s donations is a terrific indicator.

See you Sunday,


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