Monday, April 21, 2014

276th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
This Week in Photos
Sprouts on Oracle (left) and Sprouts on Speedway displaying baskets of watermelons.
Fun Food
Sprouts’ Flyer featured a great special this week. Personal sized and flavor-packed watermelons for only 10 cents a pound. Although the announcement was emblazoned across the top of the flyer just under the header, I didn’t see it. My eye perceived the header as just a bit bigger this week. Consequently after my stint at Sprouts – Oracle on Wednesday I purchased 104 lbs. of potatoes. (See first Truck Load below.)

What did get my attention at Sprouts – River Road the next day was a huge bin of watermelons on a hand forklift maneuvering through the automatic doors as I approached. When I stopped to let the store clerk pass I noticed the 10 cents per pound sign on the side of the bin. I then checked the flyer again and sure enough there is was. 

                                     All the Props in Place 
As I was deciding to purchase the watermelons I realized hungry folks seldom experience food for the fun of it. Hunger is just so serious. Then I thought about the size, the temperature outside and spring is here. Yep, these Sprouts watermelons are going to the Community Food Bank. For a little over $60 I purchased over 600 lbs. of smile inducing watermelons for folks who dine regularly at soup kitchens all over town … old ladies on social security, families, homeless vets and kids. Now that makes me smile. How about you?

On Wednesday, Michael McDonald, the new Community Food Bank CEO met with Richard Rodriguez, Sprouts – Oracle Store Director and me. And we were ready for Michael with a brand new display giving customers the option of quickly snatching up cans of tuna or beans while moving through the checkout line. Also the food bin had a spiffed up sign with no coffee stains on it. (In the beginning customers often think the bin is for trash until they read the sign.)

We talked for about 40 minutes and Michael was most impressed with the transparency of the One Can A Week program which is supported by weekly Community Food Bank donation receipts and Sprouts Farmers Market cash register receipts.

What impressed Richard and me the most is Michael took the time out of his very busy schedule to learn about our “everybody wins” community service program.  

Sprouts Farmers Market Update
One Can A Week has been in operation at Sprouts for a little under 8 months and we have collected 7,963 lbs. of food. Next week we will cross the four tons mark. Since all the food was purchased and then donated, that makes us all proud and generous capitalists.

Over 1,000 lbs. Again This Week

13th Truck Load - 2014
All this Sprouts shopping experience is making me a better shopper for myself. The $102.41 cash donation Sprouts customers pitched in the wicker basket this week netted 878 pounds of high quality food. That comes out to 12 cents a pound (rounded up). What I am doing is looking for low prices in a super quality supermarket and when I find something that might qualify, I ask myself, “Is it nutritious and would it be fun to eat?” When I get a yes to my questions I load up the shopping cart. That’s fun, too.

On my side of the equation, I’m buying more fruits and vegetables and wonderful tasting stuff like bacon on sale. I’m getting more variety and surprise, surprise the pounds pushing my belt from the inside are sliding away. Oh, and my food budget is shrinking, too.

Here’s an idea. How about going to Sprouts, take $10 out of your wallet and choose something low priced and delicious. Or get the $10 to me and I’ll do it for you. Of course, you know I’ll keep records on my records.

I like this idea better than trying to live on the $4.25 daily food stamp allotment. That’s supposed to teach folks of means what it’s like to be hungry every day. How about taking that $30 a week and go shopping at Sprouts for the hungry kids. You’ll feel better not starving yourself for a week while helping so many Americans “Have a Nicer Day.”  

This week’s donations amounted to 1,068 lbs. and included River View Estates, 22 lbs.; Sprouts (Speedway), 430 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 124 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 324 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 168 lbs.

Mapping of the Meal Gap
Feeding America has received the funding to map the level of food insecurity in each of the 3,000 plus counties in the United States. This brings the message home to local communities that hunger is everywhere, even just next door. Here is the Map the Meal Gap link.

The map is interactive. Just slide your mouse over the counties to discover the awful truth. In Pima County the child food insecurity rate is 25.9%. This means that when you see four kids on the playground, one isn’t really having any fun at all.

We collected a total of 168 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $36.00 a $25.00 check and $11.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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