Monday, March 24, 2014

272nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
The Dot Kret One Can A Party Program
Have Fun and Feed Hungry Kids and Folks, Too.

Feeding America’s  “…mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks (our Community Food Bank being one) and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.” This engagement part is the most difficult aspect of their mission to accomplish because folks are … well, simply detached. They hear about the need but don’t think about it much. Dot Kret, on the other hand, CEO and founder of DKA Associates, gets everything about hungry citizens and the terrible effect it has.

Thirty years ago, Dot started DKA, an employment firm that provides extra special care for folks who need job training or personal guidance to enter the work force. Her clients include numerous state and local agencies. Friday was DKA’s anniversary so Dot decided weeks ago to throw a party and ask all of her friends and associates to join in the celebration. At the very bottom of the invitation, Dot wrote: “DKA is a proud sponsor of the One Can A Week project. Please bring a can of food for the Food Bank to the party.”
Early Friday afternoon the guests began to arrive. At the end of the day the food bank box on display outsider the front door was nearly full. And each guest got a personal tour of the facilities plus a heartfelt explanation of her involvement in One Can A Week … after they first enjoyed a full helping of the wonderful buffet, of course.

The next evening was Dot’s Sixtieth Birthday Party and that invitation also contained the food donation request. When everyone headed for home, the food bank box outside on the patio was full. That made it a really Happy Birthday for Dot.

The total amount of food Dot collected at the two events was 240 lbs. This means that she and her guests fed 61 hungry kids and folks 3 meals in one day.

What Dot has created is fascinating. If more influential people like Dot decide to ask for Community Food Bank donations at all of their parties a great deal of food will be collected every week, all over town. The reason is party goers won’t mind bringing food to an event because the person asking for the donation is a dear friend who has a passion and commitment to help the hungry. The guests won’t want to be a disappointment in their friend’s eyes so they won’t forget the food just as they wouldn’t forget the party gift.

Then the real easy part to Dot’s plan is those influential people just have to call me, as Dot did, and I’ll pick up the food whenever they say.

Birthday Party Epilogue
Congressman Ron Barber and Kyle Flynn, his campaign manager also showed up at Dot’s birthday party. She asked me if I wanted to meet them. Within seconds I was explaining what One Can A Week was and that I am always looking for and encouraging influential people to participate in the program. Congressman
Barber thought that he could do the same thing that Dot did, ask folks to bring food to all political meetings and events.

I told him that would be wonderful mostly because a congressman would be focusing on one major problem and taking the moral high ground. Later this week I will be talking to Mr. Flynn to discuss ways to implement One Can A Week into their political campaign. In parting I mentioned that we have to change the paradigm for collecting food for the hungry and the way political candidates sell themselves to voters, too. Just knocking on doors and asking folks to vote doesn’t help voters and therefore won’t get the vote out. “You have to help people,” I insisted. Let’s hope those words aren’t the last they want to hear from me. I’ll know soon enough.

Sprouts-River Road
to Participate in One Can A Week

Last Monday, Lydia Dillon-Sutton, the new Sprouts volunteer and I met with Gabe Nottingham, the Sprouts-River Road store manager.  Within two weeks we will be begin gathering food donations. Lydia chose Wednesdays from 11:30 am – 3:30 pm to set up the display table.

In addition, Gabe suggested we provide his staff with a written explanation of how One Can A Week works just in case customers have questions when Lydia is not there. This information sheet is a great idea and we will provide one for all of the staff at Sprouts-Oracle and Sprouts-Speedway, too.
Another Double Delivery

9th Truck Load - 2014
Last Wednesday after delivering 27 bags of Sprouts potatoes, I got a chance to talk to Bill, the manager
of the Community Food Bank’s entity called the Agency Market. Virginia from the Southside Presbyterian Church was there in the warehouse, too. Her organization feeds more than 200 folks two or three times a week.

The Agency Market supports 140 agencies that operate more than 400 feeding sites. I asked Bill and Virginia about the need for potatoes and their reply was very encouraging. They will takes as many bagged potatoes as I can donate. And those potatoes will be used right away. That’s the part I like. The food we donate moves out immediately to feed hungry folks.

This week’s donations amounted to 901 lbs. (a record) and included River View Estates, 38 lbs.; DKA, 240 lbs.; Sprouts (Speedway), 184 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 172 lbs.; Axis Food Mart, 132 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 135 lbs. (Editor’s Note: Both DKA and Axis Food Mart are Miles Neighborhood participants so their totals are officially added to the Miles total. But today, their impressive donation deserves to receive some special attention.)

The Food Just Keeps Coming
Not complaining, mind you. The truth is all I do is my four hours at Sprouts/Oracle and Sprouts/Speedway and my three hour Sunday route in Miles. But sometime during the week I get an email or call out of the blue and the weekly totals skyrocket.   

We collected a total of 507 lbs. of food which includes Axis Food Mart, 132 lbs. and DKA (shopping cart on the right), 240 lbs. The money we donated amounted to $31.00, a $25.00 check and $6.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,



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