For the past 10 weeks we have been collecting, on average, $196.80 at three Sprouts Supermarkets and the Rincon Market combined. These dollars purchased an average of 123 bags. Those averages should go up for sure when the holiday spirit kicks in. Then we might achieve our goal of 300 bags per week.
Bob, the cart and everything else go-to-guy at Sprouts - River Road always gave me a "Hi" when we encountered each other in the front of the store. A couple of weeks ago he gave me a $1.00 donation. "This is a tip. I'm going to give all my tips to you from now on." He then briskly walked away.
Last week Bob approach the display table and this time gave me his trademark smile. "I want to get involved with One Can A Week. Can we set it up at Whole Foods on Oracle?"
On Wednesday we are going to make a cold call at Whole Food together. This is the first time someone has approached me with a definite plan and a definite commitment to do something. Keep watching this space.
"How do I know my money will go to feed people," the man asked as soon as he walked into the Rincon Market last Saturday. He was in his weekend scruffs, unshaven and unkempt but he still looked like he understood the ways of money.
"Give it to me," I replied, " I buy nothing but food and donate it to the Community Food Bank."
After I explained the workings of One Can A Week—and that he could just created his own program if he liked—really struck a chord with him. He confided in me that he was selling his company and wanted to do something very useful next. The idea of sitting in an office at home and buying food that would go directly to the needy was very appealing. He quickly saw that he could be making deals with local grocers that would help their bottom line. And then what about other business people who have his same concern about the effectiveness their donated dollars?
What would happen if feeding hungry kids and their parents becomes a financial product? Huge amounts of money flow in to buy food which keeps lots of folks working. At the same time, supermarket chains and trucking companies turn into very attractive investment. Some of the profits from those investments can then be donated back to his One Can A Week program oiling the process. When the idea gets big, a very small override will hire the folks who will go around monitoring and regulating the food distribution process from their own home offices. All of this happens with fancy computers but no big fancy office. The One Can A Week financial product is inside a server with all of the rest of the money making money.
Could this really happen? Of course, all it would take is one person who always does the right thing because cheating, even a little bit, means you are really no good at anything no matter what you achieve.
In January he will be back. That's what he said and that is what I expect.
This is what 30 lbs. and 170 lbs. of potatoes looks like in real life.
On Thursday the staff at DKA in the Miles Neighborhood invited me to make a presentation to inspire or better yet, help them remember to bring food to the office to donate to the Community Food Bank. After a few laughs and a serious discussion about getting potatoes into the lives of the Food Bank clients, they decided to have personnel take a few bucks out of all of their paychecks each week. My job would be to pick up the cash on Friday and buy potatoes for them at Sprouts on Saturday.
The next day they had a cash donation of $10.00 even thought their One Can A Week deduction was not in play yet. Those dollars purchased 30 lbs. of potatoes which put us over the top this week at Sprouts.
Customers donated $57.00 on Saturday and accounted for 170 lbs. of potatoes. The DKA $10.00 made it possible to push the order up to 200 lbs. of potatoes or 4 full 50 lbs. boxes. Those 30 lbs. made things happen.
Of course, the Sprouts price of 3 lbs. of potatoes for $1.00 was a big help, too.