Monday, June 30, 2014

286th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

Poor and Easy Should Never Appear Together
in the Same Sentence.

The questions was “Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently, or poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything?”

What? That is about the dumbest question I have ever heard because poor folks with or without help always have it hard. And it’s almost always attributable to poor education options, prejudice, low pay and little or no upwardly mobile employment opportunity. So this is a fact and should never be discussed as if someone’s opinion is a viable position on the subject.

And such socially acceptable “opinion” discussions create a stigma that mars a person’s self esteem for life. I learned that Thursday and to tell the truth, if I had given this matter more thought in the past I would have figured that out myself.

A man about 55-years-old stopped by the table at Sprouts-River Road and asked about the Say Something Bad About Me T-Shirt I sell for $20. I explained that the idea behind the T-Shirt was a humorous and pointed way to confront bullies who deride people on government assistance. As he reached for his wallet the smile dropped from his face.

“Let me tell you about those morons” was his opening salvo. He had a rough childhood because his dad had a difficult time staying employed. He didn’t know way. That was just the way it was. But when he was able to take on responsibility for himself he worked his way through school and makes a hefty salary now. 

“I pay taxes, give to charities and am a responsible citizen,” he said in his defense. “Why they continue to put down people who needed help when they were kids is beyond me. Let me have the shirt, this is a great way to confront those people.”

Although he was smiling again I realized my T-shirt idea was not only a way to silence socially inept people, it also brings out the hurt of a deep seeded stigma that never relents no matter how successful one becomes.

This insight took my smile away.

The next time Pew Research does an opinion survey on the poor they should compose questions that do more than determine the obvious; i.e., liberals are more sympathetic to the plight of others than conservatives. For instance, a question might state: Do poor people—whether they are on government assistance or not—have a hard life in a country as wealthy as America? If you answer anything other than Yes, you will not be asked to give your opinion on any other social issue … ever.

This would go a long way to silence those people who shouldn’t be talking anyway. Those bullies hurt people for as long as they live whether they were poor or are poor now.

 Sprouts Farmers Market Update

In less than one year Sprouts’ customers have donated more than 7.3 tons of food. That’s 14,638 pounds which fed more than 3,750 kids and their parents three meals in one day.

A Historic Photo – Collected so much food and so much money on Saturday at Sprouts – Speedway, I graduated to a six-wheel cart and needed help loading the truck. Total weight – 434 lbs. of potatoes and 106 lbs. of packaged goods.

Yet Another 1,000+ Pound Week

23rd Truck Load – 2014
Last week we set a goal of 300 five pound bags of potatoes per week to meet the demand at the 140 kitchens in the city. On Monday we delivered 130 bags or 43% of our intended goal. No planning, it just happened. With a little thought and promotion, it looks like supplying the kitchens will be a piece of … potato cake.

This week’s donations amounted to 1,032 lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 540 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 230 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 122 lbs; Shiva Vista, 40 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 100 lbs.

The Rincon Market looks the same … only better – On Friday Maen and I had lunch at the new and improved Rincon Market. They now have an expanded fresh produce section and several draft beers on tap for a more hearty lunch or dinner. Even with all of the activity I had a chance to say a few words to Ron, Kelly and their son John. It was great … so you’ve got to get over there soon.

We collected a total of 100 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $33.00, a $25.00 check and $8.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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