One Can A Week is Much More than a
Food Donation Program
It All Started with a Pizza
Around the 20th of January I stopped by Congresswoman Giffords’ office and spoke to John Rorke, who was Gabe Zimmerman’s mentee. My idea was to tell someone about my earlier conversation with Gabby and her One Can A Week concept.
When I met Gabby at the Rincon Market in early November—just before the election— she mentioned that perhaps many of her volunteers would want to and perhaps need to do something after the election. She thought introducing them to the One Can A Week program might be an option.
John was very busy but patient with me and took the time to listen to what I had to say and then jotted down my phone number.
A week later John called me with an idea of his own which we discussed a couple of days later over pizza at the Old Chicago restaurant on Campbell. He also introduced me to his associates Stacey Harrington and Jose "Vidal" Ramirez.
John, Stacey and Vidal are graduate students at the ASU School of Social Work - Tucson Component. They are working as a team on a “change project” and wanted to submit a proposal to their professor utilizing One Can A Week.
Yesterday I received an email from their professor, Kent Burbank, Faculty Associate, responding to their project for his Social Work Practice Class - Spring 2011.
Professor Burbank’s opening paragraph made my day. “Vidal, John, and Stacey, Your planned change project for my ASU Social Work class sounds good. I am glad you are working with One Can a Week. I like One Can a Week because it combines community/neighborhood organizing and education with efforts to eradicate hunger in our community.”
The first time I learned that One Can A Week was more than a community food collection program was back in 2009 when Brett Weisel called me from Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. He was the first one to explain the full potential of One Can A Week to me. He also introduced me to Sandy Scott, Sr. Communications Advisor at The Corporation for National and Community Service.
What both of these gentlemen told me lo those many months ago is true. Last Wednesday, 25 or so neighbors showed up—not the normal 4 or 5— to our monthly Miles Neighborhood meeting after I distributed on my Sunday rounds a little flyer detailing the agenda.
Now with sociologists focusing on the community building aspects of One Can A Week, I feel more hopeful than ever that we can and will end hunger here in Tucson.
A Little Gleaning Time
Near the end of my rounds on Sunday, Dan on Manlove handed me a can of tuna and suggested I take a bunch of tangerines from his tree on the side of the driveway. Since I always have a plastic bag handy and a love of plucking, I quickly filled a bag with some very fresh
fruit. No wonder One Can A Week is successful. Food is everywhere in the Miles Neighborhood.
We collected a total of 186 lbs. of food, including 18 lbs. of produce and 38 lbs. from The Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $12.50 in cash. Add to those 186 lbs., another 354 lbs. from the Miles School, the Sunflower Market and the Rincon Market. We just dropped off 540 lbs. of food.
See you Sunday,