Archive for the food drives Category

things you should know about

Posted in aafb, economy & politics, food banks, food drives with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by foodbankguy

One thing that doesn’t happen when you start a blog is people telling you how much time you really need to spend to make it something special.  On that note, coming off a crazy busy month or two, here’s a my first post in 45-some-odd-days with whole bunch of stuff you should know about:

sleek and stylish, in time for fashion weeks everywhere

sleek and stylish, in time for fashion weeks everywhere


  • I’ve mentioned Peter Norback and his One-Can-A-Week activities before, but I can’t remember if I shared his blog with you or not… if not, here it is!  Follow his weekly adventures, and start your own collection in your neighborhood!
  • That’s all for now.  The holidays are fast approaching and no doubt you will see lots of food drives and other festivities involving your local food bank.  I invite you to participate!

can’t get enough of one-can-a-week

Posted in food drives, fun, people, southern az with tags , , , , , , on September 4, 2009 by foodbankguy

I may have linked to an article before about Peter Norback, a Tucsonan inspired by President Barack Obama’s calls for community service, who decided to organize a weekly canned food donation in his neighborhood.  The concept was incredibly simple:  each week, each house was asked to put out a single can of food and Norback would pick it up and see that it found its way to Tucson’s Community Food Bank.

Before long the media had picked up on the story, one neighborhood become several, others were inspired to do the same in their neighborhoods, and the rest was history.  Norback received a grant to help get the word out about his operation and even got play in the USA Today.  Well now Peter has his own blog where you can follow all of his awesome adventures, so of course I wanted you to be aware of it and maybe even inspire someone out there to follow in his footsteps.  Check out Peter’s blog here.

I’ll also note that Peter is apparently quite the inventor and fan of golden retrievers.  From his blog, you can learn more about and purchase a Top Tag Pet ID–“the first USB complete-care pet ID tag. It was invented and is owned by Peter Norback and Bill Roach. Protect your pet and support Peter’s One Can A Week efforts at the same time.”  That struck me for a couple reasons; one because I grew up with a golden retriver named Phred (yes, Phred… I was weird) who looks just like the one in the photo, and secondly I subscribe to a USB newsletter noted for mentioning every last wacky USB product ever created, but somehow they missed out on this…

look ma, I’m on tv!

Posted in aafb, food drives, fun with tags , , , on August 13, 2009 by foodbankguy

Bashas’ and 3 TV were both very gracious in granting yours truly some quality face time to talk about the Bashas’ Back-to-School Food and School Supply Drive.  Unfortunately 3 TV’s website won’t let me embed, but follow the links for the fun.  Some people have said I look like a priest, so you know you gotta click!

On Good Morning Arizona

On NatsNews – a cool long-form web-only chat 

Fan mail, appearance demands, baby-kissing invitations, and autograph requests should be sent to…

fun in the sun & breaking budget movement

Posted in budget, food drives, fun, metro phoenix with tags , , , on July 29, 2009 by foodbankguy

First, the fun: the Back-to-School Clothing Drive at the Goodyear Swap Meet was this past Saturday, and while it was hot outside, participation was tremendous.  It was estimated that twice as much clothing was swapped this year compared to last, and fortunately there was an abundance of volunteers to sort the clothes.  Yours truly was there to help accept and transport food donations.  Bright and early Monday morning, I dropped off 200lbs of food to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

Beyond the food though, it was great to see a community come together to support one another.  As you may know, the far westside of metro Phoenix, including Goodyear, has just been decimated by foreclosures and the poor economy.  This event was a great showing by those who are sticking it out and making it work, and it was very gratifying to see the community come together.  I also want to give a shout out to Jennifer, the Arizona Grocery Guru, who was very nice and proved popular with the locals.

Minor irritation: while I was out there, KPHO, the local CBS affiliate, was out there covering the event, which I presume aired on their evening news.  I tried to find a link on their website for you to check out, but damn if their website just sucks.  You can’t find specific videos if someone put a gun to your head.  With no ‘Videos’ menu choice, I had to use their search function, typing in “goodyear swap meet”… the seven results I got included amongst other things: Andy Rooney on Walter Kronkite, a video of a bird hitting an airplane, and something on Major League Soccer.  WTF?  Come on KPHO, you need to try harder here.  You’d think they’d want the extra hits, pageviews and videos played.

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Regarding Arizona’s budget, there appears to be some quick movement, with a possible vote coming as soon as tomorrow… this is probably not good news.  Looks like Brewer’s tax increase will be put to the ballot, but only because a bunch of other tax cuts aimed at big business and the wealthy will also be included.  Emerging details here and here.  Be sure to have your popcorn and/or tissues handy…

how stamp out hunger and higher gas prices relate

Posted in aafb, food banks, food drives with tags , , on June 12, 2009 by foodbankguy

Stamp Out Hunger, as you may know, is the annual postal service food drive that was just held this past May.  Going on for 17 years now, it is the largest food drive in the country by a wide margin.  This year, 73.4 million pounds of food was collected, marking the sixth consecutive year over 70 million pounds.  Perhaps even more amazing is that in this economy, with so many forced to cut back, over 300,000 more pounds were collected than in 2008!

To give you some perspective, all the food collected for this year’s Stamp Out Hunger campaign translates into nearly 57.35 million meals, which is enough to feed 52,369 people 3 meals a day for an entire year–365 days.  That’s roughly the entire population of Casper, Wyoming, by golly!  I bet nobody who reads this has even been there before… hell, I’ve never been there before… uhhh…  nonetheless, the point stands!

One of the biggest reasons this food drive is so critical to food banks around the country is the supply chain factor:  letter carriers are picking up the food at individual mail boxes, filling their little mail trucks, and delivering the food to local food banks.  That logistical exercise saves food banks a considerable amount of money on transportation and labor costs. 

When people give money to a food bank, the bulk of it goes to the purchase  of food, and indeed food banks in Arizona have a great track record:  AAFB member food banks report that $0.96 of every $1 they receive goes toward food purchase.  There are other, less sexy costs though, and oftentimes those costs are fuel and vehicle maintenance costs.  Someone has to collect all that food you see at a food drive at your local supermarket or other retailer.  Someone has to deliver food out to the small pantries in far away rural communities, and as you know, Arizona is a huge, giant state to traverse.  And when gas prices go up as they have over the past several weeks, you can see how much extra has to be budgeted just to deliver this food.  The fact that the largest food drive of the year includes built-in pick-up makes it an extraordinary event for food banks.

For those curious, this is also an area where AAFB helps out:  the Arizona Statewide Gleaning Project is a trucking operation that transports food to and from food banks, and also rescues leftover, unsaleable or unwanted produce from the Nogales point of entry, Yuma (and by extension, California) and numerous farms throughout the state.  The Gleaning Project is truly a great service for the food banks and is one of the things AAFB is most proud of.

gettin' ready to haul another load for the Arizona Statewide Gleaning Project!

gettin' ready to haul another load for the Arizona Statewide Gleaning Project!

send hunger packing & budget action items

Posted in aafb, budget, food banks, food drives with tags , , , , on June 9, 2009 by foodbankguy

Today was the official launch of St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance’s Send Hunger Packing 2009, a fun way to remember that while summertime means vacations for many, it also means an increased struggle with hunger for far too many Arizonans.  In fact, the summer months are oftentimes a bigger struggle for those with school-age children because those children are away from free or reduced-cost school breakfast and lunch programs.

snazzy logo for a snazzy cause

snazzy logo for a snazzy cause

Sending Hunger Packing is important because community generosity and media coverage typically spikes around the holidays, when nearly everyone is in a festive mood to give back.  When the summer rolls around, it seems more people are hot and surly, and sometimes don’t consider giving even though demand increases.  Did you know that  in a recent report released by Feeding America, 1 in 5 Arizona children live in food insecure households (the 5th worst ranking in the country!), meaning they do not have enough food for their growing bodies?  Unbelievable, but sadly true.  Poor nutrition also contributes to poorer performance in school, as hunger overtakes both desire and capacity to learn.

Summer meal programs for children are available, as some of these recent articles highlight.  However, many children live in areas without them, which is why this program is so important.  Visit St. Mary’s website to learn about how you can Send Hunger Packing through donations of food, volunteer hours or monetary donations.

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BUDGET ACTION & YOU: Are you ready to Take the Power Back, Rise Up with Fists, or otherwise Take it to the Streets to promote a healthy budget that has the best interests of both present day and future Arizona at heart?  Then check out these details on how you can join AAFB and the Arizona Budget Coalition on a Capitol Visit on June 25, or volunteer at a phone bank in the evenings on Mondays or Thursdays throughout the month of June.  You’ll feel better knowing the People Have the Power!

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!