In 2011, we had a great month – we set a record by collecting over 3,000 tote bags. We had 14 tote drives – everyone from an employee drive by Alpern Rosenthal to a student led drive at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus on the Northside. We sponsored the first ever BlogMob at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and we were able to attract some media attention to the issue of hunger and the issue of reusable bags (reuse.)
As 2012 draws near, the need for this awareness is more critical than ever. Here in Pittsburgh, funding for food purchase programs (these allow the food banks to buy food at low, low prices) has been cut. Funding for SNAP (food stamps) will be reduced by the federal government. General supports like the General Assistance Program for adults with disabilities have been cut in Pennsylvania. States are dealing with the increased number of people on Medicaid, increased demand for services and finding the fairest way to provide these supports. Reading, PA has been designated the poorest town in the United States. Our own Fayette County has been the second poorest county in the state for decades.
Our neighbors need us. And we invite you to get involved during Hunger Action Month – to take some action, however small or large, to help them.
This is the time to get that tote drive organized. You have six weeks to get the details worked out and promote it. And there are other ways to get involved.
- Organize a tote drive.We hope to have 4 companies step forward to commit to a tote drive at their workplace. You just need a box and a way to promote it to your colleagues. In 2011, Alpern Rosenthal’s 200 employees donated over 700 bags. That’s pretty amazing.
- Sponsor a special event. A happy hour with the proceeds benefitting our project. A special night at your business – bartender tips to the project. Admission discount with a tote bag donation. A tasteful display about our work.
- Sponsor our Volunteer Appreciation event.We need a host site and some support with refreshments. Say thank you to the folks who give p their weekends to staff tables, drive miles out of their way
to pick p tote bag donations, and support us in so many other ways.
- Donate a raffle prize. People love our toteskets (aka raffle prizes). Can you donate a git card for a purchase? A unique gift item? An original piece of artwork or a craft? We’ve included everything from cookbooks to piggy banks to movie passes and even official NFL licensed Eli Manning purses.
- Dedicate some space in your newsletter or e-blast or tweets to this issue and these events. Word of mouth starts with one tweet. So did our project.
- Tell your story. Have you used a food pantry? Have you organized a tote drive? Do you clean up disposable bags along the waterfronts? Your story is important.
- Join our planning committe. Are you a “get things done” person? Are you willing to show up and pitch in with the detail work? Do you have an idea to propose? This is a temp committee: now through mid-October (time to wrap up.)
For more information, please contact us. We need your help to reach our goal of collecting 5,000 tote bags during the month of September.