Archive for May, 2009

are you ready for the wells fargo statewide food drive?

Posted in aafb, food banks, food drives on May 29, 2009 by foodbankguy

Reminder, for those of you who tend to make trips to the food library over the weekend…

The totally incredible, totally awesome Wells Fargo food drive begins this Monday, June 1 and lasts through June 15.  Drop off your non-perishable food donations (no glass containers please!) at any Wells Fargo or Wachovia bank branch in Arizona and know that you are helping those who are hungry in your community.  Critically important as the need remains high and the brutal summer months are upon us!

Check out video from Good Morning Arizona on Channel 3 this morning, live from the Wells Fargo museum in downtown Phoenix.  I was there, lurking in the shadows, and even wearing a tie!  Unbelievable!


unexpected generosity is cool

Posted in aafb, food drives, fun, metro phoenix, people on May 27, 2009 by foodbankguy

This past Saturday I found myself with a table at the Goodyear Swap Meet, ready to talk to passerbys about food banks and hunger issues, as part of their Service to the Community festivities.  Since it was Memorial Day weekend, they invited non-profits of all stripes out to engage the community with volunteer opportunities, learning opportunities, fundraising communities, and more.  While a bit warm, the weather was nice and a decent crowd turned out to see a parade of motorcycle veterans and a surprisingly good live rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

I’m a bit of a swap meet buff and yard sale buff; what can I say, getting a smokin’ deal and instant gratification beats eBay any day of the week.  Once I scored one of these for $25 which brought me much joy, but I digress.  This time around, after enjoying a gigantic coffee flavored ice cream cone for only $2, I was greeted by Kathy, who put together the event for the Swap Meet.  She had collected five frozen hams, 90lbs of canned goods and an envelope of cash for our cause, all of which were completely unexpected.  Turns out she had done a little preplanning to collect all this for us, and what an awesome surprise it turned out to be.  Big props to Kathy and the kind folks at the Goodyear Swap Meet!

food bank guy in action (not at a swap meet, but this is the best he's got and you get the idea, so deal with it!)

food bank guy in action (not at a swap meet, but this is the best he's got and you get the idea, so deal with it... and yes I'm aware I'm talking about myself in the third person...)


 Now, have you ever tried to fit five hams in a standard size refrigerator freezer before?  I’d like to hear your story!  Thanks to years honing my Tetris skillz, I got ’em in there safe and sound until I could deliver them to St. Mary’s on Monday morning.  In all, 40lbs of ham will help out tremendously, as food banks are always looking for protein sources, since they are oftentimes hard to come by as they are usually perishable, expensive or both. 

An aside:  Have you ever seen the USS Phoenix submarine veteran’s display, complete with at least a 15 foot scale replica on its own dedicated tow trailer?  They were also at the swap meet, about three booths down from me.  Unfortunately, it would appear these gentlemen do not have  a website, although you can catch a glimse of it here.  It literally is mounted to its own tow trailer.  While impressive, more amusing was the PA system they have hooked up to it where they played on a continuous repeat a CD of submarine songs, sung by a guy who sounded like a cross between Johnny Cash and Elvis.  Songs about the captain, songs about being lonely on a submarine, songs about having torpedos fired at you, I’m telling you this CD had it all and we must have heard it 6 times in a row!  Not to mock, but perhaps because of the veterans’ ages, they had their PA blasting under our covered area, cranked to 11.  Right next to them, all of 2 feet away, were some ladies from a private Christian school who were none too pleased… good stuff!

budget update

Posted in budget, economy & politics, people on May 21, 2009 by foodbankguy

Have you been paying attention to all the recent budget activity and actual proposals being discussed?  Exciting times for those of us that collectively make up Arizona’s social services safety net.  While obviously concerned about the rammifications of the budget cuts, so far I’m genuinely optimistic that they’ll do the right thing and balance it with plans for revenue enhancement and long-term strategy.  All the many people who have playfully and not-so-playfully labeled me a realist or pragmatist or buzzkill should find that last sentence funny…

So stay tuned to this and don’t be afraid to raise your voice if you’re feeling so inclined.

Also, I’m going to take this opportunity to whine and complain about the heat.  It’s waaaaaaay to early in the year for this kind of heat, and I’m more sweaty than I like.  But alas, I can’t rant about my plight too much, afterall, try to imagine how bad it is for those who are homeless or have had their electricity turned off because they decided to feed their kids instead…

don stewart assoc fallout

Posted in economy & politics, food banks, people on May 15, 2009 by foodbankguy

Several people have asked me what I think about the Don Stewart Association as protrayed in a recent investigative report by the Arizona Republic (standard tangent:  what, a major daily still does investigative journalism?!).  If you’ve read the report, you know that a couple of his charities are food banks, and many in the food banking community were concerned about the fallout, worried about being lumped together, and generally apprehensive of the uncertainty of it all.  Myself, I was kind of excited to see how everything unfolded, the public response, a potential media frenzy, etc.  If nothing else, I do enjoy watching a good trainwreck from time-to-time!

As it turns out, there really wasn’t much to be concerned about.  The public astutely recognized and frowned upon Don Stewart’s operations without condeming all the food banks and the media reaction was relatively nil.   I had a chance to speak with the author of the piece, Robert Anglen, and he too seemed perhaps a bit dismayed that my phone hadn’t been ringing off the hook.  Ultimately, the story clearly portrayed the questionable but nonetheless legal interworkings of Don Stewart, and it’s my hope those IRS loopholes will be closed… at the end of the day, it was really just another story of when you give some people an inch, they’ll take a mile.

For me, the oddest wtf revelation was the involvement of former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, who was recently hired by Don to defend/legitimize/cover for his operations.  I can only guess that poor Rick has forgotten his due diligence skillz or simply needed something to amuse himself with in retirement.

And, just for the hell of it, a random photo, taken by an Erin Taylor at Ag Day 09!

I feel bad for the kid who has to play the tractor...

I feel bad for the kid who has to play the tractor...

keepin’ busy

Posted in aafb, budget, food banks, food drives, fun, metro phoenix on May 11, 2009 by foodbankguy

I’ve been keeping real busy lately, so updates are sadly lacking.  Hopefully you’ve found a way to make it through your day(s) without me… check out my bad food bank guy post; it could serve instructive right about now…

Recap:  The Taste of the Nation event was very successful on Saturday, May 2.  Record crowd, beautiful weather and an all-around good time at Market Street in DC Ranch.  The Association of Arizona Food Banks and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance both benefitted from the event, so a very special thanks to anyone and everyone who made it out that evening.  We’ll see you again next year!

Recap: Last Saturday, May 9 was the Stamp Out Hunger event, which I assume went well from the various news stories I’ve seen thus far.  Unfortunately for me, sleeping in combined with super-uncharacteristically early arrival by my mail carrier prevented me from participating in my fullest glory.  Ooops!  In any event, Mrs. Food Bank Guy made sure our donation made it to our local food bank anyway. 

cool artistic food carvings = brand recognition

cool artistic food carvings = brand recognition

Heads-up:  The annual Wells Fargo Bank food drive is June 1-14.  You can simply drop off your non-perishable food donation at any Wells Fargo branch anywhere in Arizona to participate.  They are a bunch of pretty cool folks to care about hunger and their local communities on a such a large scale.

Heads-up:  Paying attention to Arizona’s budget crisis and the potential consequences of massive budget cuts?  PerhapsYouShould.  Learn more and get involved if you are so inclined here.

That’s it, peace out, Dodgers win, we’ll see you next time.