Tuesday, September 14, 2010

88th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Making the most of a small thing
Through July and August the Rincon Market’s little Styrofoam soup cup and the Saturday morning display table averaged $64 a week. Then on September 4th, the cup along with the table paper plate collected $110.24. At least 80% of the donations came from the cup. It was so full with dollar bills that coins could not be pushed through the slit on the top.

When I arrived this Saturday, I set up the table by the front door as usual and headed for the cup next to the cash register. What a disappointment. There were a few bills and some change. This is not going to be a good week, I thought.

I asked one of the cashiers if there were a money pouch in the back which happened weekly when we first started our Saturday morning program in the Rincon Market. But not lately with $64 dollars coming in as the average.

Ron Abbott the owner of the Rincon Market approached my table holding a bulging green money pouch. “Two day ago the cup got so full I had to empty it,” Ron said with a big grin. “There’s a lot of money in there.”

It took until nearly 11 o’clock to count and wrap the money. The cup total came to $97.92. I always write the weekly figure on the back of the cup so the staff can see how they do each week. I know they encourage the donations with their very helpful and friendly demeanor so I think they should see the fruits of their smiles. Actually, they ask me, “how did we do this week?” so I’m not guessing that they care.

Are there other places in town where a similar simple Fund Raising Cup can encourage folks to put their bills and change into a slot instead of back in their pockets? I'm pretty sure there are so I’ll let you know.

My best friend’s mom is getting over a major operation—and doing extremely well I enjoy saying—so when I stopped by to see how everyone was feeling last week, I was asked if I wanted some home grown squash. Now I’m a single guy and squash takes some real prep time and then there’s the taste thing. I hesitated a moment but quickly realized that if I said no I might impede the healing process. Absolutely I replied and took as many as I was handed.

If you look real close they are just below the Ragu jar near the top of the cart…a yellow, outdoor faucet looking object and a green Mexican squash. It took me a couple of days to figure out I never have to refuse or throw out food I dislike again. I’m the food guy. I can donate the food gifts and make them someone else’s problem. Just kidding…but I can tell you, from now on I am going to remember the regifting concept at every social gathering I attend.

We collected a total of 200 lbs. of food, including 46 pounds of produce and 4 lbs of pet food. The money we donated amounted to $45.00 … two checks, $10.00 and $25.00 and $10.00 in cash.

See you Sunday.


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