Monday, November 22, 2010

98th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
Kids Helping Feed Kids

They came from all corners of Tucson yet they showed up at the Swan and Grant Starbucks on time. Although there was a chill in the air and it was late in the day Monday, everyone was eager to discuss various ways to incorporate One Can A Week into the Vail School District. (Seated left, Jacob Coldsmith, Logistics, Community Food Bank, Bobby Rich, MIXfm, Rodney Glassman, Glassman Foundation, Calvin Baker, Superintendent, and Krista Gypton, CTE Connections Coordinator, Vail School District and Bill Carnegie, president/CEO, Community Food Bank.)

Instead of overwhelming Calvin and Krista with One Can A Week facts and accomplishments each of us talked about the personal aspects of One Can A Week that impressed us most. Rodney started off telling us about his dinner a week ago with Richard Fimbres our Ward Five councilman and his wife.

Mary Fimbres said that after participating in One Can A Week for over a year, she now shops specifically for the Food Bank. While buying food for her family, she picks up special items for her donation instead of just grabbing something off her pantry shelf each Sunday. Rodney’s point was the mindset One Can A Week creates and it is something he would like to see instilled into all kids.

Bobby Rich spoke about the small gesture of giving one can and the huge effect it has when it becomes a consistent habit. Then Bill Carnegie mentioned a number of programs the Food Bank has that can address many of the special needs facing hungry kids in Vail. This prompted Calvin Baker to ask if the Food Bank served Vail because it would be easier to encourage people to participate if their donations came back to those in need in their community. There are lots, Bill assured Calvin and he will gladly send him the statistics.

Near the end of the conversation, Calvin summed up the discussion as he saw it. The Vail School District could:

1. Have the children donate one can a week
2. Focus on collecting healthy foods for the Food Bank’s Back Pak program
3. Open a pantry in the school once a week and help the needy in Vail
4. Adopt a school in another district and donate enough food to eliminate hunger in that district

Calvin also saw that they have to find an impassioned personality to run their One Can A Week program just like I’ve done in the Miles Neighborhood. They have already begun the process to find that person even before attending this meeting.

My ‘take away” as the corporate folks like to say, is not one negative point was made in this meeting. Not one “yes, but” was uttered. We did talk about the teachers’ workload and no budgets to speak of but only in reference to things we have to work around.

We were all of one mind. We must feed the children and we must find a way to get everyone involved because it really does take a village to raise a child.

Special Note: “Because the Vail/SE Tucson region of Southern Arizona has experienced immense residential and commercial growth over the past decade, the Vail School District is now one of the fastest growing districts in Arizona. At present, the Vail School District has seven elementary schools, four middle schools, two comprehensive high schools, an alternative high school, and two charter schools. 10,259 students are currently enrolled in grades K-12.” Quoted from About the Vail School District on the Vail School District web site.

There Should Have Been Two
Seham, Maen Mdanat’s wife saw a terrific bargain at Fry’s and bought two 20 lb. turkeys. I took them out of the freezer at the Axis Food Mart, put them in the back seat of my car and returned to the store to thank Maen and his family for their generosity. When I returned to the car, Adam, my Energizer Bunny Westie was in the back seat with the rock hard frozen turkeys and I thought nothing of it.
When I arrived home I took the turkey’s out of the car and just before popping them into my freeze I noticed the drumstick ends were exposed on one of the turkeys. Upon closer inspection, I saw that something like an aggressive Westie had yanked the plastic wrap open and tried to gnaw the bones. Also, the gravy pack was shredded.

Instead of trying to think of a story to tell Howard at the Community Food Bank on Monday, I decided to give the turkey to a neighbor who could use a little help now and again. She thinks Adam is cute. She also thinks what her family doesn’t know won’t hurt them.

We collected a total of 220 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $63.00 … $30.00 in checks, $17.00 in cash plus $16.00 and 52 lbs. of food from The Axis Food Mart.

See you Sunday,


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