Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Can Openers Needed By Ft Myers Soup Kitchens and Food Banks

I should have realized it decades ago, but I never gave it much thought ... One morning in the early 80's I met a remodeling contractor that I did drywall work for at his home. I was to follow him and his laborer out to a jobsite so I could put in a bid on the project. We were all set to go ... he just needed to feed his dog ... a large St Bernard. His laborer (Mike) and I stood by the door and watched as he struggled for 10 minutes trying to get the 1st can of dog food open, not only could he not get it open ... he'd barely made a dent in it! The can opener blade would flop over to the side as soon as you put enough pressure on it to start cutting the can ... it was unworkable!

After watching his bosses struggles Mike spoke up and said " You've been wrestling with that can for 10 minutes ... give them to me, with the dog bowl, and $10.00 says I'll have both of them open in 10 seconds! " I looked at the contractor and knew what he was thinking ... "this will be the easiest 10 bucks I make all day", and at that point I was in agreement, even with a good can opener 10 seconds wasn't much time.

Mike took the 2 cans of food and laid them on their side on the counter, he put the dog bowl to the left and the can opener to the right, he looked up at us and said "give me a 3 second countdown when you're ready to keep time." I was keeping time so I marked my watch and gave him the count ... as soon as I said "go" he immediately karate chopped (hard) the 2 cans laying on their sides, he picked up one of the cans and bent it back and forth about 4 times while holding it over the bowl, the can popped open and in one violent shake he emptied the contents into the dog dish. Then he picked up the second can and repeated the process. DONE ... and he never touched the can opener! Total elapsed time was 5 seconds! It was the easiest 10 bucks Mike made all day! Needless to say the contractor and I were quite impressed, as he handed Mike the $10.00 bill the contractor asked "where did you learn that neat little trick?"

Ft Myers/SWFL Food Banks Need Can Openers

Mike told us that for the best part of the past 3 years he had been homeless. He said "There isn't too much in this world more frustrating than to finally get your hands on some food, after being hungry for days, go back to your camp and realize you don't have a can opener! Necessity is the mother of invention ... and when your as hungry as I was you can get pretty creative! That dog food can was about the easiest kind of can to open ... the right size to grip, and plenty of side to chop at ... smaller cans aren't nearly so easy, some you have to beat with a rock, and often lose half the contents just getting it open, and bigger cans are tough to get a good grip on." He went on to add "... the toughest part isn't always getting the can open ... it's managing not to cut yourself while you open it and eat out of it. I had it easy in here ... I had a counter, plenty of light, and was warm today ... try that lil trick kneeling in the dirt, in the dark, when it's 30 degrees and your hands are shaking! And then if you happen to get cut that doubles your trouble... things like band aids, peroxide, antiseptic ointment ... even soap and clean water ... can be pretty tough to come by when you live out of a bag, and sleep in the woods!"

I hadn't thought of this story in years until a week or so ago I was talking with a volunteer for a local food bank who mentioned one of the items they can usually use are can openers. She told me even if they had plenty at the soup kitchen, they would know someone who could use them. I checked my kitchen drawer ... we have three of them ... and I can't remember the last time the ones in the back of the drawer got used ... maybe never! The food banks and soup kitchens in the Ft Myers - Lee County area always can use food donations, but, it might be worth calling to ask what other kids of items they can use. You can help out a great cause and perhaps free up a little room in the utensils drawer.

Richard Thomas, Social media?SEO Consultant in Ft Myers Florida, Writer, interested in making a positive difference in my community including but not limited to: regional search engine marketing for small businesses in Ft Myers Florida. Local Google Ranking Improved for both companies and charities. 501c3 non profit promotion done pro bono.

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