It’s been in the news a lot lately… fears of rising unemployment, economic stagnation and mortgage woes. We’re seeing it at The Cooperative Feeding Program. Where we used to provide 300-400 hot meals a day we’ve been well over 400 for a while now and have had a number of days in the 550 range.

It can be quite overwhelming and a lot of times individuals feel they have no power to effect change. Everyone is looking for someone else to have answer, the President’s stimulus package, a bail out of Bears Stearns, or some solution to the mortgage debacle. While we certainly need some leadership in these areas at the end of the day there is something you can do – put your money where your mouth is.

Money definitely talks in our society. If you don’t like what a company does, don’t support them. Just as importantly though if a company is doing great things – supporting the community, treating their employees fairly or building a more sustainable corporate environment – help grow that by choosing to buy from them. There are lots of great companies, big and small, doing some great things. You’ve seen a few of them mentioned in this blog or on our website –UPS, Target, Transworld Business Brokers, Jarden Consumer Solutions, CASF, BankAtlantic, First Data, ABB Con-Cise – they’re all doing things right now!

I’ll make it easy for you to get started. On April 1st (no, it’s not a prank) at 7 P.M. Dorian Cirrone, a local author, will be at the Barnes & Nobles at the Broward Mall to sign her new book – Prom Kings and Drama Queens – a story about high school students staging an alternative prom. Come out to the store and support a local author working to empower youth to make better decisions and….. if you use this nifty voucher when you purchase something, Barnes & Noble will donate a portion of the proceeds to Cooperative Feeding. If you can’t make it that night, the voucher is good through April 4th. See how easy that is?

The quickest blog post ever….. Andy Cagnetta (CFP Board member) is holding his annual “Andy’s Family Pasta Dinner”, a fundraiser benefiting The Cooperative Feeding Program in our efforts to end hunger in Broward County.  This year’s event is February 17, 2008 at the Signature Grand.   Adult tickets are only $25 and youth are free if they bring a bag of food or hold a personal fundraiser through Firstgiving.  This a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon and help defeat hunger.

Here’s a letter from Andy (copy/paste makes for way easy blogging) with all the details.

Dear Friends and Family,

How’s this stat “1 in 6 Broward residents go hungry every day”!! Many of them kids! Can you imagine trying to get good grades being hungry!!!

Here are some easy instructions on how to get involved (I will send a few emails out describing the event). First step is I need more sponsors. Especially the presenting sponsor! I am about to hit the airwaves and print and would like to mention the presenting sponsor on the air!!! So call me now if you want to be the presenting sponsor!

Or follow step one.

1) Sponsor the event! The Presenting Sponsorship is $10,000, and we have levels at $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, $500, $250, $100. Download this form here or go to http://www.firstgiving.com/pastadinner and just use a credit card.

I would like to thank our Major Sponsors thus far:

South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center
Bank of America
Transworld Business Brokers
The Signature Grand
Solomon Snow Advertsing
Miller Construction
WQAM

The next emails will outline the next steps of getting your kids involved, donating if you can’t come anyway, auction items, buying tickets. The short story is below.

2) Get YOUR kids/young adults involved now! Call me or all the information is here http://www.tworld.com/pastaforms/2008VolunteerGuide.doc

3) Not going? Live far away? Help me anyway! Just Donate here now! http://www.firstgiving.com/pastadinner (or use Lauren/Rachel’s site http://www.firstgiving.com/cagnettagirls )

4) Send or help gather auction items. http://www.tworld.com/pastaforms/AuctionItemPasta2008.doc

5) BUY TICKETS AND JOIN US!!! Go to the website http://www.feedingbroward.org/help_EventAndysFamilyPastaDinner.asp or the main site and click tickets.

Still confused? Email me back and I will help you help me!

I look forward to a record year in raising money, gathering food, and involving our young people in community service.

Andy Cagnetta
Transworld Business Brokers