Monday, June 2, 2014

282nd Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Dressing for Food Collecting Success

Cele Peterson, the Grande Dame of women’s fashions here in Tucson told me a story that sounded more like a fable from our distant past. She died in 2010 so our conversation happened in Cele’s El
Mercado Mall store in the late 90s.

When Cele was still located downtown she said one day a woman wearing a coat that had seen better days came into the shop. The sales staff was a bit repulsed but Cele did not hesitate to offer her help. That gesture of common humanity turned into one of the store’s largest sales. The woman was wealthy and decided it was high time for an upgraded.

Throughout the years, Cele told that story to all of her new employees in an effort to help them learn that judging folks by the cut of their clothes is a sure way to miss many disguised opportunities.

Apparently, not everyone has heard Cele’s parable and many are still making judgment based on appearances.

In the past few weeks, the donations at both the Sprouts-Oracle and Sprouts-River Road stores have been somewhat paltry. On the other hand, Sprouts-Speedway donations were stellar. What could be causing the disparity?

I do select my Sprouts wardrobe to project a little so the customers can see me standing there almost motionless. Red is a good color as is a sweatshirt with a photograph of Adam my Westie emblazoned on the front. On Wednesday I decided to look more upscale corporate and wear a button down blue pinstriped shirt at the Oracle store. The cash donations generated 236 lbs. of potatoes. Wow, that was terrific.

Since Wednesday evening was laundry night this week I was ready with the blue pinstriped shirt for my Sprouts-River Road stint the next day. Single dollars came in slowly so I was worried that River Road would be meager again this week. Then I got a couple of $5 bills. A little later a woman, somewhat meekly slid a folded $20 bill under the $1 bills on the side of the basket. Another “Wow, terrific day.”

This week Sprouts customers have donated $163.91 in cash which purchased 93 5-pound bags of potatoes for a total weight of 484 lbs. With 5-pound bags containing approximately 13 potatoes each, a baked potato is going to end up on 1,209 lunch or dinner plates in a day or two.

Of course, it’s not a good idea to judge folks on any scale, clothes or otherwise, but knowing that people still do … and considering how many people are depending on the 140 kitchens around our city … you can bet I am going to lean a little harder on the corporate look and dress, as they say, for success.   

Sprouts Farmers Market Update

19th Truck Load – 2014
The most interesting thing about collecting all this food each week is the Miles Neighborhood is averaging around 190 lbs. per week. That’s down from the 256 lbs. average when we first started, but think about it, after five and one-half years of picking up food every Sunday, we are still going strong. This is some happy news.

This week’s donations amounted to 794  lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 270 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 254 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 116 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 154 lbs.

Upworthy – A couple of years ago an arrogate website called Upworthy was launched. It is similar to TED in that it collects and disseminates interesting and important information.
But instead of talks, they link to the original material which is mostly videos. My first selection was a Carl Sagan film entitled “A Universe Not Made for Us.” I was particular struck by his closing remarks.

“The significance of our lives and our fragile planet is then determined only by our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life's meaning. We long for a parent to care for us, to forgive us our errors, to save us from our childish mistakes, but knowledge is preferable to ignorance. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable. If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.”

Ending hunger should do it. Well, anyway, that works for me.

We collected a total of 154 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $30.00, a $25.00 check and $5.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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