Tuesday, August 10, 2010

83rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Little Adventures
The food bank was rather quite when I got there at 11 today. Usually it’s a hub of activity when I arrive around 9 on most Mondays. Somebody was delivering a bed and setting it up at the dock door. I asked Keith what was that all about and he said he hoped the beginning of an after lunch nap program. Of course we all laughed.

Last week Pauline Heckler, the VP of Development at the Community Food Bank, invited me to lunch at Micha’s on South 4th Avenue so I was trying to coordinate my delivery and the 11:30 lunch appointment. It worked out well because she came down the stairs right on the dot of 11:30.

Pauline told me she selected Micha’s because it was the first restaurant Punch Woods, the Community Food Bank’s storied Executive Director took her to when he hired her. I like stories like that because it makes you feel important for doing absolutely nothing.

About halfway through lunch Pauline was kind enough to let me present an idea I’ve been formulating for weeks and mentioned a bit in last week’s post. It’s called “Smart Kids Don’t Eat Dumb Food…much” In essence, it is a study of two low-income schools where food is provided for the kids 7 days a week, 3 meals a day.

We know what is happening to poor kids now, early onset diabetes, low test scores, little exercise and everything that those concerns entails now and later in life. But what will happen to these kids if we feed them properly for 3 or 4 years? Pauline is going to help me meet with more folks to see if we can develop a program to answer that question.

Villa Hermosa
At 1:30 I had an appointment to teach the computer to some seniors and I knew I couldn’t be late. These folks have little to do so they are always very punctual. In fact, an 88-year-old student was sitting in his scooter directly in front of the door when I arrived. I yanked the computer chair away as Aaron drove up to the desk and stopped with a thud.

This was Aaron's fist lesson and he was pretty good with the mouse but filling out the Gmail form proved a bit frustrating. We stopped now and again just to let him catch his breath and calm down. I told him the computer was easier to operate than learning to drive a car because there is no way he could fly off a cliff with a computer. He smiled and relaxed a little more.

Aaron now has a Gmail account and he said he will call all his kids and grandkids to give them the news. You know they are going to be ecstatic. Sharron, the Activities Director said they have been after him for some time now to get online. Now he is.

A Walk on Campus
It was 8:20 and my Westies like to rest in the grass in front of the library before they head back to the car. Apparently the grass is cooler there—at least Adam thinks so. In the middle of the mall a very large man was play Frisbee with a couple of young boys. His voice was very large too. “I love those dogs,” he boomed as he walked over to the three of us, “what are they called…I forgot.”

I told him Westies. “Their faces are so cute," he replied in his announcer-like voice,
“their eyes look just like a kid’s.”

Turns out my new friend, Armando, was there with his son and cousin teaching them how to pitch the disc around. At first they thought the game was dumb but Armando insisted back that it wasn’t dumb and soon they were having fun.

Armando is young, 30 I think he said, and has a restless soul. He thinks there are better things in life other than his foreman job and he wants to do more. “I have to take care of myself first before I can take really good care of my boy,” he volunteered.

His admission surprised me because generally folks don’t get this concept. I told him that the lioness is probably one of the best providers in nature and a big proponent of taking care of herself. Her hunting skills are legendary and when she and the other lionesses in the Pride bring down game, they eat first.

Then the lion is allowed to eat followed by the cubs. If this order were not strictly observed, the Pride would eventually perish. If the lioness, the sole provider for the Pride, ate last, there may not be enough food for her. She would grow weak, diminishing her effectiveness as a hunter. When this happens, the whole Pride—her family, in other words—would grow weak too and eventually die.

Armando liked this story although he probably identified with the lion more. Think it’s a big guy thing. No matter, he asked for my card and wanted to talk more about community service and helping others after checking out our blog. Armando has a dynamic personality and is very engaging. Wouldn’t it be great if a chance meeting helped take One Can A Week to another level?

The Weight Isn’t the Whole Story
The Community Food Bank is always looking for breakfast cereals (the non-sugar kind, of course) and our neighbors are answering the call. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, cereal does not weigh much even if the box is huge like the Joe’s O’s. Heavy or not, keep the cereal coming, the kids need it and love it.

We collected a total of 121 lbs. of food The money we donated amounted to $57.50…one check for $25, $14.50 in cash and $18.00 from the Axis Food Mart.

See you Sunday,


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