Monday, March 31, 2014

273rd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
This is How Much They Pay Me
to Keep My Mouth Shut

Two or three Sprouts customers have told me that they really appreciate the fact that there is a person associated with the One Can A Week program who visits their store each week. The Sprouts managers told me they really appreciate that I only speak to their customers when spoken to but mostly let them go about their shopping activities undisturbed. So standing silence behind the display table with just an occasional “hello” nod pleases everyone. Even me because I am generating a lot of food and money donations. Just look at that cart above. It’s been like that for the past few week at both the Sprouts-Speedway and Sprouts-Oracle stores.

Although there is very little action, there is sure a lot of drama. At the end of my four-hour stint, I have to have a brimming food bin and at least $50 in the collection basket to buy those ten pound bags of potatoes. To keep the monotony at bay, I take up the banter of a carnival barker—in my mind, of course—focusing on different customers in the checkout lanes.

“Hey, mister, you in the plaid pants and striped shirt, don’t put that $10 back in your wallet. Augh, you aren’t listening.”

“Lady? As you walk by the table you can drop that dollar in the basket can’t you? Okay, maybe next time.”

The fun part is I have no idea who is going to donate or if I will get any donations at all. It’s always a surprise and quick. This past Saturday I turned around to check out a man feed his dog a treat outside on the front patio and when I turned back a man dropped a $20 bill in the basket. I always say thanks but I think I’m a little more exuberant when I see the larger donations. Good thing every donation is a unique event so I haven’t slighted anyone yet. And, yes, there are regulars who donate a dollar instead of a can every week. Even they sneak up on me sometimes.

Another thing I think about while standing there in silence is what if we had a One Can A Week display table in all of the supermarkets in town or around the country? We would collect a heck of a lot of quality food and people who can afford to feed themselves will be thinking about those folks who can’t every time they shop. And all of this wonderful, spontaneous empathy will happen while no one says a word.

In This Case, Boring is Terrific

We were 260 lbs. of food under last year’s first quarter totals but $76.00 dollars over so it’s a wash. Everything in this world goes up and down like a seesaw but when it come the Miles Neighborhood feeding the hungry, we’re as consistent and predictable as the sunrise.

To date we have donated 62,570.5 lbs. of food and $13,760.12 in cash to the Community Food Bank.

Special Note

Sprouts – Speedway
This week’s food donation of 236 lbs. was a record and helped push them past the two ton mark in just eight months as a One Can A Week participant.

Sprouts – Oracle
In a little over three months they are fast approaching the one ton mark.

10th Truck Load – 2014
Fresh produce not only increases the weight and quality of the food we donate; it also necessitates getting it to the food bank in a more timely fashion to maintain freshness. And since I am encouraging participants to donate more fresh produce and buying more produce from Sprouts myself, there will probably be two delivers a week from now on.  

This week’s donations amounted to 674 lbs. and included River View Estates, 24 lbs.; Sprouts (Speedway), 236 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 184 lbs.; Shiva Vista, 62 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 168 lbs.

How does you garden grow? – If you are producing a bunch of extra vegetables and fruit—and what motivated city farmer doesn’t—think about donating some of your prize produce to the Community Food Bank.

This week we had our regular bananas and apples but some folks threw in tomatoes and sting beans, too.

We collected a total of 168 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $35.00, a $25.00 check and $10.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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