Monday, July 21, 2014

289th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

The "Feel Much Better Donation"

The woman, guiding a full shopping cart, slowed only to drop a $20.00 bill in the basket. As she picked up speed again on her way through the automatic doors, I flared my hand over the money in the basket and said hurriedly, “You know, all this money goes to buy food for the 140 kitchens here in Tucson which feed older women and kids. They have no potatoes on a regular basis so I buy nothing but Sprouts potatoes.”

She slowed slightly, looked over her left shoulder and gave me a big smile. “Thanks, I feel much better about my donation.”

If I have a chance to tell Sprouts donors how their money will be spent many say the same thing. They really like to know what is going on with their dollars. I have that inquisitive feeling, too, because I simply want to feed people. This is why I always keep an eye on such things as operational costs at my most favorite charities.

Money Goes In and Food Comes Out
On Friday, Feeding America threw an email newsletter into my inbox. They were talking about Summer Food Programs but there was one little item farther down the page that caught my attention. Charity Navigator, the premier independent charity evaluator awarded Feeding America another 4-Star rating for the third consecutive year.   

To further define Charity Navigator, here is their mission in their own words from their own website: “Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We've used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 7,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.

“Specifically, Charity Navigator's rating system examines two broad areas of a charity's performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information.”

When researching the Community Food Bank years ago, I discovered Charity Navigator. Interestingly enough our Food Bank has a 4-Star rating from them also, for the same reasons. Very low operating costs, 3% actually and efficiencies that would make any Marine First Sergeant proud.

I’m telling you all this semi boring stuff because I want you to help us feed more hungry kids, older women and families here in Tucson. Your dollars and food really do feed folks … sometimes the next day like the potatoes I deliver twice a week. That speed makes me feel good and I see no reason why you shouldn’t feel good right along with me. 

Next time you see a request for a Community Food Bank, Feeding America or One Can A Week donation, just dig down into your purse or pocket. You’ll feed some family soon and that’s the best feeling in the world … next to hugging a puppy, of course.    

26th Truck Load – 2014
Kym, our 13th Street volunteer, dropped off two big white basketball looking things Sunday (see photo above on the right). They were new to me so I had to ask. Her answer came back squash. Still not enough information so then Google told me the official name is Lumina Squash. Very pleasant moniker but I still don’t like the stuff.

This week’s donations amounted to 768 lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 202 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 206 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 228 lbs; and Miles Neighborhood, 132 lbs.

More Food Lingo
The first time I heard the phrase “food insecurity” to describe hungry folks I though it sounded a bit forced. Now there’s “foods to encourage” which is just another way to say fresh produce. Instead of trying to create stilted expressions Feeding America should just come right out and say what they mean. Their food network—which includes our Community Food Bank—distributes way more produce than anything else. The figure is holding steady at 67%.

Not only is that fact encouraging, it is very impressive, too.

We collected a total of 132 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