Tuesday, August 5, 2014

291st Week Update - Miles Neighborhood One Can A Week Project

Hi Folks,

One Can A Week Works in Neighborhoods,
Schools, Supermarkets, Convenience Stores
and now ... Restaurants.

On Sunday evening I walked Maen Mdanat, the owner of the Axis Food Mart out to my truck in the front of his store. In the bed was four fifty pound bags of potatoes plus eight five pound bags. Maen just bought those spuds with $66.00 he collected in his One Can A Week donation can displayed next to the register. The total weight was 244 lbs. which will probably end up serving more than 600 people.

Maen likes the One Can A Week concept so much that he is always encouraging other small business people he knows to start their own program. “All you do is collect the money,” he says, “call Peter and he buys the food. Then you get the receipt. How simple is that?  You are in complete charge of your own One Can A Week program.”

Chaffin’s Diner
902 E. Broadway
Those words worked on Alex, the owner of Chaffin’s Diner, located at Broadway and S. Tyndall Ave. next to OfficeMax. Alex and I met Thursday and he already had a plan. The food bin will be a convenience for those organizations that meet monthly at the diner. Several bring canned and packaged goods to donate to the Community Food Bank. Now they will be able to leave their donations behind and Alex will see that they are delivered. He also wants the collection jar. He will use that money to buy and donate lots of potatoes which he gets at great wholesale prices. It hadn’t occurred to me until he said it, but restaurants could be as important a source of potatoes as supermarkets.

Alex is looking for a strong community service program where he can help his customers and the community at large. And like Maen, he really appreciated the fact that he takes ownership of his own One Can A Week program and dictates exactly how it will integrate into his business.

Within a week or so One Can A Week will be up and running at Chaffin’s Diner. In the meantime, visit their Facebook page and check out the reviews … which are glowing. “Big portions.” “Great food.” and “Going back soon.” Then stop by for breakfast or lunch and meet Alex. He’s the smiling guy behind the grill who just wants to feed his happy customers … and those folks in need, too.   

Sprouts Farmers Market

Rincon Market

One Can A Week
Set Two New Records

176 Bags of Potatoes in One Week
Beating the Old Record of 133 Bags

1,266 lbs. of Food Donated
Beating the Old Record of 1,146

And probably the best news of all, potatoes now have an inventory stock number at the Community Food Bank. It’s D-3285. Before this week, potatoes were just listed under the general title of produce mostly because the Food Bank did not receive many of those delicious spuds on a consistent basis to warrant much attention. That situation is changing and the Food Bank, known for its highly efficient management of food distribution, plugged potatoes into their system to track every pound donated.

Now One Can A Week can’t let them down. Everyone I talk to wants to help fill up the warehouse because potatoes mean so much to a well balance diet. “They are so necessary and so cheap,” many of my donors say, “here’s a few more bucks.”      

28th Truck Load – 2014

This week’s donations amounted to 1,266 lbs. and included Sprouts (Speedway), 168 lbs.; Sprouts (Oracle), 386 lbs.; Sprouts (River Road), 68 lbs; Rincon Market, 150 lbs.; Ward 6, 52 lbs.; Chaffin’s Diner, 72 lbs. and Miles Neighborhood, 370 lbs.

Everyone’s favorite vegetable
In 2009, the Idaho Potato Commission conducted a survey to discover what was America’s most favorite vegetable. Forget about the obvious conflict of interest, the potato won hands down. And whether there was a survey or not, everyone would have probably guessed that. The reason? “Potatoes are the perfect, blank culinary canvas” These words which start the fifth paragraph on the Idaho Potato Commission’s website say it all. Potatoes taste great plain or with anything else you can imagine.

So why are potatoes in such short supply at the Community Food Bank when the demand is so great? Bill Beatty, the coordinator of the Food Bank’s Agency Market calls them “gold.”

My thinking is potatoes are so ubiquitous in our daily diets that we never stop to ask the question, “Who’s not getting any potatoes?” After all, I’m no better than anyone else. I had no idea about the shortfall until I decided to buy potatoes one day and then weeks later became curious about what was happening to them. That’s the fateful day I met Bill and he enlightened me.

Now it’s our responsibility to fill the void and tell everyone we meet that America’s hungry kids and their parents aren’t getting potatoes … the stuff that built America along with those smoldering steaks.

We collected a total of 370 lbs. of food with Axis Food Mart’s potatoes accounting for 244 of those pounds. The money we donated amounted to $2.00 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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