Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

I stopped by the Lucky grocery store that until a couple weeks ago was an Albertson's. A week or so before that, a client had mentioned that since all of the Bay Area Albertson's were going to be renamed and rebranded, the stores might have a lot of leftover bags with the wrong name on them after the change. The Food Bank Director stopped by the neighborhood store right after that and the manager gave him a box of 2,000 plastic bags. I thought maybe I could get a box too.

On Sunday morning I located the manager on duty and said that I work for the Alameda Food Bank and asked if they had any leftover bags he could give me. I was thinking it might be a long shot, since my food bank's not in Hayward. The manager said yes, without even asking me about the food bank or anything. He then looked at the courtesy clerk standing nearby and said, "Give her the pallet."

I followed the courtesy clerk to the back, telling him that I was just in my sedan so I would take what I could take that day. The clerk didn't even know what a pallet was, so I showed him and he gave me about five boxes of plastic bags and about 600 paper bags. That was about what we could fit in a grocery cart.

Today on my way to work I stopped at the store again and located the same manager. I thought it was possible that perhaps they had gotten rid of all those bags or someone had busted him for giving me as many as he had. He said that not only did they still have the bags they'd had Sunday, they had received another partial pallet with the wrong bags. "They're taking up space in the back and making my receiving manager crazy!"

I said I still only had my sedan but I could send someone with a van later to pick up the bags. We figured out a couple of times that would work for all of us, and the FBD went back this afternoon and picked up all the bags that were left. In the end, the Mission Blvd. Lucky's gave us about 100,000 plastic bags. That's about 13 months' worth of plastic sacks, and we got about 2,000 paper bags as well.

The FBD told one of the volunteers that I had gotten the store to donate a year's worth of bags to us, and she said, "How'd you do that?" I replied that I had just asked. The FBD said I should come up with a better story than that - getting over 100,000 bags for free is a big coup in a budget as small as ours.

I smiled and said, "Well, I don't think I mentioned that I was wearing my tightest dress and my most elaborate jewelry and hairdo."

1 comment:

Saipan Writer said...

Don't you love it when you score big in the name of helping others. Congrats on the free bags for your food bank.