Monday, June 13, 2011

127th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,
It’s a Penny Business
A story about a convenient place where everybody wins.

Almost a year ago, Judith Warner published an article in The New York Times. In it she talked about The Charitable-Giving Divide. “For decades,” she wrote, “surveys have shown that upper-income Americans don’t give away as much of their money as they might and are particularly undistinguished as givers when compared with the poor, who are strikingly generous.”

“A number of other studies,” she continued, “have shown that lower-income Americans give proportionally more of their incomes to charity than do upper-income Americans. In, 2001, Independent

Sector, a nonprofit organization focused on charitable giving, found that households earning less than $25,000 a year give away an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes; those with earnings of more than $75,000 gave away 2.7 percent.”

But what would happens if a man of means is as generous as his working-class customers? Instead of a survey or study that tells us how such a partnership would benefit charity, we have just one case study. And that case study happens right here in our Miles Neighborhood every day.

Maen Mdanat, owner of the Axis Food Mart has two habits, one good, one
bad. He’s trying to give up smoking, the bad one. But his generosity, the
good one, is something he wants to become more addicted to. “I just love
to help people," he confesses. So he took an old coffee tin when he first
opened his store here and created a very visible change drop for
his customers.

Now to the business side of Maen’s personality. All of his distributors
know Maen is always looking for a deal. They know this because he is
always pushing them for a deal. Last Wednesday Finley Distributing
called Maen and told him they had lots of Sunny D that recently
passed the Best By date.

The price for all of those Sunny D cases—more than 2,700 lbs.—decorating
the front of the Axis Food Mart was only $400. Maen will donate $100 and
the rest of the money for the Finley invoice will come from customer dimes,
nickels, quarters and pennies dropped in the Food Bank canister. Capitalism
at its finest! Customers love to donate change to the Food Bank, Maen loves
to be generous and work deals and the hungry really appreciate the help.

I saw Jake today when I dropped off our donation at the Food Bank. He gave me
the Axis Food Mart receipt for 2,781 lbs. and told me that the Sunny D was
already out of the warehouse and distributed. That was such good news…
and they just got the product Friday. It’s so true, the Community Food Bank
needs it now and we are helping now.

As I was leaving the Food Bank I thanked Jake for all of the help. Juan, who sits
behind the receiving desk said, “Jake helped you? We’re always trying to
get him to help us.” It was a joke, of course, but as I am writing this post I
looked at the photo of Jake operating the automatic tailgate lift with his right
hand and controlling the fork lift with just one finger of his left hand.
He’s either super strong or maybe there is something to that not-working-
too-hard comment Juan made.

Setting a major record – PJ Trujillo collected 344 lbs. for the Miles Neighborhood in one week back on June 15, 2009. That record stood for one hundred and four weeks. The Axis Food Mart just set a new record this week by donating 2,781 lbs.

This new record will probably stand until we land on Mars or Maen Mdanat works another deal. (Notice the photo of the Sunny D soft drink plopped in the cart. Humorous, no?)

We collected a total of 2,939 lbs. of food, including 2,781 from the Axis Food Mart. The money we donated amounted to $38.50 … a $25.00 check and $13.50 in cash.

See you Sunday.


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