Day 185: Paul Giancarlo

8 Oct


A few weeks ago, on this blog, I asked readers to recommend people to be pie recipients. One friend wrote back and suggested that I make a pie for Paul Giancarlo. It didn’t take long to think about this suggestion for who deserves a pie more than the person who has found a way to keep our local food pantry stocked?

For those of you who don’t live in Ashland, Paul is the co-founder of the Ashland Food Project. This is a plan whereby families opt to buy one extra food item per week and set it aside for the food bank. Every eight weeks, these items are picked up by a group of volunteers who then bring it to the food pantry.

The Ashland Food Project is about three years old. It had humble beginnings but has grown significantly in this short time. In fact, this message came via email tonight after today’s food collection:

Hello neighbors,

Another great day in Ashland. 19,000 pounds of food from AFP green bags were dropped off at the Ashland Emergency Food Bank today. Isn’t that remarkable!
Thanks for making this possible.

Isn’t that amazing???

In July, Paul received the eTown E-Chievement Award for his work with the Ashland Food Project. This NPR show was taped at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville and a large group of AFP volunteers were in the audience cheering for Paul. As much as I wanted to be in that audience, I was unable to attend the show because I was preparing to cater a weddding the following day. However, I did get to listen to the show when it aired on the radio and you can see his interview here.

Last night I just happened to be at a restaurant where Paul was celebrating his birthday and I was introduced to him. I thought it best to ask him what kind of pie he liked and told him that at some point I’d be bringing him a pie. And when I woke up this morning, I thought, why don’t I bring him a pie today?

This afternoon I delivered an Apple Blueberry Latice pie to Paul and his wife Mary. They welcomed me in and asked about my pie project. When I mentioned that it started as a crazy idea in the night, Paul could relate because the Food Project was just an idea to begin with as well. Just think of all the wonderful things that could happen if we all were willing to listen to the “crazy ideas” in our hearts?

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has – Margaret Mead Poster

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