Monday, August 19, 2013

241st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Getting Better By the Minute

As Saturday morning progressed, Sprouts customers remembered to buy cans while shopping and then drop off their donations at the display table as they left the store.

With the vision of last week’s mauled cherry pits covering the bottom of the Sprouts bin still in my mind, I slowly peeked into the black abyss to see if there were any donations. Surprise! Sparkling cans and a box of noodles. (The puffed up Sprouts bag seeds the bin.) 

It seemed unreal. This was only the fourth Saturday at Sprouts on Speedway yet there was an air of familiarity everywhere. The moment I stepped out of my truck someone called my name.

“Are you Peter Norback?” the woman said as she approached her right hand extended to greet me.


“I’m Nina Straw from Blessings in a Backpack,” she replied.

We’ve sent emails back and forth but this was our first meeting. Nina is the coordinator of the Bloom Elementary Backpack Program which feeds scores of kids during the summer months. Bloom is near Pantano and E. Pima.

Nina said she just wanted to meet and hurried into the supermarket.

The normal Saturday morning setup routine began with yanking the display table over the side of the pickup and walking into the supermarket. As I approached my spot in the center aisle in front of the cash register lanes, each cashier I passed looked up and cheerfully said, “Good Morning.” 

That was the first time that happened. For the past three weeks I was greeted by all of the friendly Sprouts folks but it was in good time. It took maybe half the morning to get nods from everyone. Today, it was right at the top of the morning. How pleasant. 

Once the table was up and the Sprouts bin moved into position I returned the truck to install the trademark umbrella and then carry in the display box with all of the One Can A Week paraphernalia. It took another few minutes to position the yellow tablecloth, large sign and collateral material.  Now I was ready.

The only time I sat down to rest was when the seven register lanes were nearly empty. This didn’t happen very often in my four-hour stint nor were they empty long … maybe twenty five seconds. So it was a quick break. More like, “Ahhh, that feels good … wait, stand up.”

It was important to be alert for the Spouts customers. It was important to show Richard Rodriguez, the store manager, a sense of urgency and professionalism. When he was on the floor he was ever watchful and constantly on the move directing his staff or jumping in to quickly bag a customer’s groceries. The energy just kept flowing.

Around 11 am Richard stopped by to chat a moment. He said now customers were coming up to him to talk about One Can A Week. They love the idea and were happy that Sprouts was involved in community service in their neighborhood. Richard knew this would happen. That was why he let me set up One Can A Week. But I did see some delight in his eyes as he moved on.

Just wondering – Every week DKA donates a variety of food to One Can A Week yet for the past two weeks the total weight was exactly the same … 24 lbs. When I sent Dot Kret the report I asked her how she did that. 

Being the consummate business woman she is Dot replied, “Planning!!!  J

It’s not nice to kid a kidder … especially when the response is funnier than the question.

We collected a total of 150 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $31.00, a $25.00 check and $6.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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