Monday, September 9, 2013

244th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
...Sprouts Update…

Cash took the early lead,
 but food is coming on strong.

Since the food bin/trash bin incident at Sprouts, I now enter the supermarket with a sense of cautious anticipation. What’s going to be the story this week? Will we need more signs?

When I got close enough to see the bottom of the bin there was a terrific surprise waiting for me. Cans and packaged food covered the bottom of the bin and filled up a second level, too. Customers are getting more engaged, I thought, and it only took six weeks.

Another good sign was late in the morning when a gentleman came up to the table and explained his mother was entering a nursing home and she had an abundance of canned food. He wanted to know how he might donate the food to the Food Bank.

I told him he could just bring the food to Sprouts and put it in the bin. If there were more food than the bin could hold, just stack it on the side. He turned and left quite please because he got a simple solution to his perplexing problem.

It may seem unnatural to bring donated food to a supermarket but once folks learn that their Sprouts is a direct link to their Community Food Bank, they will gladly scour their pantries for things that hungry people might find more useful.

People go to the supermarket at least once a week so why not shop in a place like Sprouts where they can find what they need for themselves and their families and help others at the same time. It makes perfect sense and of course, it’s One Can A Week easy.

“If you had a sign at the front door,
I could remember to donate One Can A Week.”
The west entrance to Sprouts.
Two weeks ago a lady who was a bit frustrated gave me this obvious advice to help her participate in One Can A Week.

Prior to her suggestion I had been thinking about doing something for weeks to introduce One Can A Week as customers entered the supermarket. Admittedly, I am moving slowly in my marketing efforts because I do not want to appear too aggressive to Richard Rodriguez, the store manager or his staff.

The east entrance to Sprouts.
However, her words motivated me and I came up with two small tables, designed to look like the big table with a sign and some food on display. My thinking is they can pick up a can right there. In the front of the table will be a short stack of cans with an 89¢ sale price on them. Also, those tables will be on permanent display to generate more sales and more donations throughout the week.

Since Richard was not there this past Saturday I took the tables down after my stint because I need his approval and permission before I do anything. (The assistant store manager let me set up the tables for one Saturday.)

While the tables were on display, I collected more canned and packaged goods than money which was a new food vs. dollars record. The end result was 72 lbs. of food, something Richard will like for sure.

Where the Real Hungry Folks Live
An article in 24/7 Wall Street recently examined the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service report which lists every state in order of its level of food insecurity from 2008 - 2012. The Top 10 hungriest states (in descending order) are: Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, and Ohio. To read all of the unsettling news, click on the links above.

We collected a total of 136 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $41.00, a $25.00 check and $16.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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