Monday, June 23, 2014

285th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,
Success is a Potato

When I asked Bill Beatty the Coordinator of the Community Food Bank’s Agency Market about the need for potatoes we’ve been donating he replied, “They are gold. All of the 140 kitchens need them.”

He then went on to elaborate. “One of my clients was pushing a full cart of potatoes and she also had three bags in her hand. I told her we have to share those potatoes so you have to put some back. She wheeled the cart around and dropped off the three bags. No, I said, that’s not right, leave the cart and take the three bags.”

Over the past few weeks I have told Bill’s story to emphasize the great need for such a common staple and got a lot of laughs. But seconds later I also got a lot of concerned looks. How is it possible that a food that is so abundant and so inexpensive can be so scarce?

The answer probably has something to do with weight and packaging. A bag of potatoes is heavy yet offers a convenient supply—at least 14 potatoes per five pound bag. Consequently, folks don’t have to think about buying potatoes for a while after they’ve purchased a bag and dragged it home. The potato acquiring process then becomes “out of sight, out of mind.” And who ever thinks about donating a bag of potatoes? That’s really not much money to spend to help the hungry.

Chasing a Hit
My whole career has been focused on consumer success whether it was the national advertising ads I wrote, the reference books I authored or USB pet tag I designed. I wanted to make money and help folks. Little success in the money department but I had a high satisfaction rate for doing worthwhile projects. Recently when I discovered the great demand for a simple food at all of the 140 kitchens in town I decided to focus my attention on filling that demand. It’s working and every week more and more potatoes are donated to the kitchens. The target number is 300 five pound bags per week which would cost between $450 and $564 based on the current pricing (see below). To date the most I’ve collected in one week was $195.00. This means that with more subtle urging of the Sprouts customers on my part the 300 potato bag goal is doable. 

You, too, can help by visiting any Sprouts Farmers Market to buy a bag or two of potatoes. The price fluctuates between $1.50 and $1.99 for a five pound bag. Or if you like, give me a cash donation and I will do the buying for you. That’s what Maen at the Axis Food Mart does and you can see what $45.00 looks like in the two shopping cart photo above.

Imagine if we could eliminate potato hunger at the 140 kitchens in town. That would be a huge success. It would also encourage others to end peanut butter and cereal hunger for all of the kids here in Tucson. Nothing is impossible to overcome when you nibble away at it a little bit every week.  

Sprouts Farmers Market Update

22nd Truck Load – 2014
Potatoes are shipped in huge bags stuffed with 10 5 lb. bags. (See photo on the left.) Strong produce clerks lay them flat in the shopping cart using lots of arm and back strength. Older customers stand them on end so they can be bear hugged out of the shopping cart and into the truck. Just thought you’d like to know.

This week’s donations amounted to 708 lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 210 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 246 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 128 lbs and Miles Neighborhood, 124 lbs.

Just a reminderThe Rincon Market will be open this Friday, June 27 at 7 am. I’m going to have lunch there so why not plan on joining me around noon. It will be lots of fun seeing old friends again.

We collected a total of 124 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $30.00, a $25.00 check and $5.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


No comments:

Post a Comment