Monday, April 7, 2014

274th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

Megan Guthrie, Miles neighbor creates spot-on One Can A Week news video
Click on links or photo link to view video.
On a Sunday last fall, Megan Guthrie’s dad stopped me at his front door to tell me how proud he was that his daughter just got accepted into the graduate program at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. In late February of this year Megan asked me if she could do a story on One Can A Week but her professor had to approve the project first. If a student wanted to report on a social project it had to be new and different she informed me.

To help her sell the idea, I sent Megan a bullet point fact sheet filled with “new and different” things about One Can A Week. That did the trick and a few weeks ago Megan shot the video that also included appearances by Richard Rodriguez, the Store Director at Sprouts – Oracle and Jack Parris, the Public Relations Manager at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

Megan only had one minute and forty-one seconds to tell the story so this is what she did. From our different vantage points in the One Can A Week program, Richard, Jack and I come to the same conclusion. One Can A Week is easy on everyone who gets involved and it helps people help. Although none of our dialog was scripted our similar assessments highlighted what motivates neighbors, supermarket shoppers and corporate managers to help feed the hungry … a charity program that is simple, quick and easy. Now that’s new … and really different, isn’t it? 
Sprouts - River Road opening sets new record

Only the Store Director and assistant manger knew One Can A Week was going to appear Thursday morning in the Sprouts - River Road store.  Within minutes after setting up the display table near the front entrance several cashiers and baggers asked for an explanation. They were delighted I was collecting donations for the Community Food Bank.

About twenty minutes into the morning a gentleman walked up to the table, took two dollars from his wallet and placed them in the wicker basket. This was a very good sign. I thanked him and told him he was the very first person to donate in the River Road store. He appreciated the news and smiled widely as he pushed his shopping cart out of the store.

About mid way through the morning, Carrie, the assistant manager stepped up to the bin and stooped a bit to pear in. Her face took on a disappointed look as she walked away. I was touched by her interested even though the bin was still empty. That soon changed when two gentlemen dropped off some expensive olive oil and cooking sauce. 

The wicker basket was beginning to fill with lots of dollar bills and a most welcomed $5 bill. Then James, a well liked cashier—whose regular customers greeted him with boisterous salutations—walked up to the table while on break and dropped a $20 bill on top of all those $1s. “I’m retired and this job makes that possible,” he said.

With James’ $20 bill along with 18 other folks’ $1 bills I was able to purchase ten 10-pound bags of potatoes. That many potato bags in a shopping cart always piques nearby shoppers’ interest and they have to say something. “How many fries are you going to make?” Or “You’re having a party?”

This time the woman in front of me in line just asked, “What are those for?” After I told her I was purchasing the potatoes for the Community Food Bank’s Agency Market she dug into her purse and handed me a $10 bill.  “You can use that for next week,” she suggested.  

As I maneuvered out of line I replied, “No, I’m going back for more. Thank you very much.”

Now I had $48 which purchased 132 lbs. of potatoes. In addition people donated 8 pounds of food. The total weight of 140 lbs. set a record. Speedway’s first donation was 50 lbs. and Oracle’s, 26 lbs. In those days I used to purchase cans that cost about 89 cents per pound. After recalculating for the potato price of 35 cents a pound, both Speedway and Oracle were still lower. So its official, River Road is the new first day leader.

When I checked out I got back into James’ line because I wanted him to see what his generosity produced. His cash stayed in the store and helped his company’s bottom line while at the same time he helped provide a great many people with Sprouts-quality food. James experienced One Can A Week’s win-win situation. Bet he’ll do it again … soon.

11th Truck Load - 2014
Now that we are supplying the Community Food Bank’s Agency Market with fresh Sprouts potatoes I make two runs (Monday and Friday) to keep the produce really fresh. It’s only eight miles to the food bank and back which costs $1.28 in gas. Think about it, for $1.28 more a week we get to donate many hundreds of pounds more of fresh potatoes. It is so worth it.

This week’s donations amounted to 638 lbs. and included River View Estates, 48 lbs.; Sprouts (Speedway), 194 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 120 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 140 lbs.; Ward 6, 20 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 116 lbs.

Volunteer Appreciation Day
Anna and her family took a much needed and fun day trip. Kym took a sick day, I’m sorry to say, so Sunday was a reminder of what it was like in the old days when I first started One Can A Week. Lots of stops and lots of chit chat with the neighbors. Chit chat is always the fun part.

It was a little tired when I finished at 3 pm but not too burned out to think about Anna and her family and Kym. Their help each Sunday is really important to me and One Can A Week. However, I do feel more appreciation for their contribution whenever they have to take a little time off … that’s for sure.

We collected a total of 116 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $35.91, a $25.00 check and $10.91 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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