Monday, November 15, 2010

97th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Under "Serious Consideration"

Twenty-six minutes after I sent a brief email to Rodney Glassman describing and explaining our Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week food donation program, Rodney sent an email to Calvin Baker, the superintendent of the Vail School System. It was 11:27 pm.


Can you check out this program below. Do you think this is something Vail would be willing to explore on a trial basis? It is a great program and could be REALLY great for the community and area. Very similar concept to reading one book a week but with a charitable twist. thoughts?


By 7:21 am the next morning, Mr. Baker replied to Rodney.

Good Morning,

“Great concept. Thank you for thinking of us.

“I've had some initial discussions with Krista Gypton, an outstanding teacher working in our CTE (Career and Technical Education) office who is passionate about service learning projects. We are exploring possible ways of implementing the concept in Vail. We are a bit distracted with the loss of our override and we have an administrative retreat the next two days . . . so be a bit patient with us. We are giving this serious consideration and will get back to you soon.


Rodney also copied a number of people who are or will be important to the implementation of One Can A Week in the Vail School System. Bill Carnegie, President and C.E.O. of the Community Food Bank then sent me an email.

“Rodney, Peter and Bobby (Rich),

“I want to thank each of you for working on this. Rodney what a wonderful idea and I hope Calvin is able to consider a pilot program for us.

“We could do regular Friday pick ups of food and keep track of the pounds by school. I'm sure you are all aware that we are facing the most difficult time since the Great Depression with both the economy and the numbers of people out of work. Peter's "One Can A Week" program is beginning to gain momentum across the nation and we would love to add a school model.

“I would enjoy the opportunity to discuss the viability of a pilot project in Vail.


I was amazed at the immediate and positive response from for all of these very influential folks. Then I received the best email of all from Rodney.

“Everyone hold tight. We will wait to hear if this District is the right fit, and will coordinate from there. Plan to hear from me next once I hear from Calvin Baker. We spoke yesterday. No need for any investment of time or resources quite yet. This could be something great!

“I promised Peter I would help put this together because I believe in him and what he's doing. Thanks everyone.


With Rodney on our side, now we can really succeed and feed even thousands more Tucsonans.

More School Community Service
Petra, (right) Rayah and Michael (background), Maen Mdnant’s three children spent three productive hours in front of their father’s store collecting donations for the Community Food Bank. Rayah even made up a song she sang to each passing customer. “You can’t go into the store unless you donate to the food bank.” The verse didn’t rhyme but it sure brought smiles to the faces of Maen’s customers. At the end of their tour, Petra, Rayah and Michael collected $55.00. Now that’s something to sing about.

The Meek Shall Fix the Earth
Kristen, my next door neighbor had a few minutes to talk Sunday and eventually we got around to hungry kids here in Tucson. She works for the Tucson-Pima Public Library and part of her responsibility is the after-school reading program for children. Many of those kids, around 25 most days, stay until they close at 8 pm. I asked if she feeds them because it is way past suppertime. Kristen said no, they can’t prepare meals in the library.

Good heavens, they have lunch at school and then nothing until 8 pm and … maybe not even then? I then thought of my friend Maen Mdnant and men and women like him who are generous, community minded and own stores in the neighborhood. “Why not ask them for help,” I said. “A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a pint of milk is not much of an expense … even five days a week”

I asked Kristen to put together a fact sheet on the situation at the library and I will help her go to the local business community and get some help to feed those 25 hungry kids.

We all see things and know the situation is wrong but have no idea how to implement a solution. That’s where I can help. Just tell me what you see that needs fixing and I’ll try to come up with an answer. If we all stand up and do something, this world will be worth our kids inheriting.

Rodney Was Right
In our first meeting Rodney Glassman kept on pushing the schools saying that was the way to go for One Can A Week. I wasn’t completely sold until I got the emails regarding the Vail School System and now this one from Sarah in Atlanta, GA.

“Hi Peter-

“I've attached a photo of my One Can a Week crew. Kind of a funny one, but the best we can seem to come up with!

“Last week we collected 34 pounds of food - a record high for our little route! And beginning this past week, my son's 3rd grade class at Cliff Valley School has decided to join in our food collection efforts, too. Last week they filled a whole bin with cans for us to take to the food bank. They're very excited about the project!

“I'll keep you up to date with future news!


Ok, I’m convinced.

Looks Are Deceiving
Not shown is 20 lbs. of produce because it was delivered to the Food Bank late last week, not on Monday. Then there is the 38 lbs. donated by DKA Associates. They are stepping up their food contributions and want an official record. I can do that for them especially taking into consideration the “stepping up the donations” part.

We collected a total of 196 lbs. of food, including 20 lbs. of produce. The money we donated amounted to $171.00 … $60.00 in checks, $56.00 in cash plus $55.00 and 2 lbs. of food from The Axis Food Mart.

See you Sunday,


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