Jeannette Maré, left; Lee Wilson; Peter Norback, with his Ben's Bell; and Bill Carnegie, Lenny Cota-Robles, Jack Parris, Barbara Farragut and Kym Fuhrig.


The recipient of this week's Ben's Bell is Peter Norback.

Norback was nominated by his neighbor, Lee Wilson, who said a simple idea hatched by Norback has made a big impact on the community.

In January 2009, Norback started the One Can a Week project, asking his neighbors in the Miles Neighborhood, to leave one nonperishable item on their doorstep once a week. The Miles Neighborhood is bounded by Broadway to the north, Kino Parkway to the east, and the Arroyo Chico wash to the south and west.

Norback goes door to door on Sundays to collect the goods to drop off at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. He leaves thank-you notes in place of the food so neighbors know he picked up the food.

During the last three years, the project has brought in more than 50,000 pounds of food and $11,000 for the food bank.

Norback said the economic crisis in 2008 inspired him to do something to help the community.

At first, he shared his idea with a group of other people who had no interest in it. But he didn't give up. After telling a supportive neighbor about the idea, Norback got the ball rolling.

"It's a great idea because it's so simple. All you have to do on Sunday is put a can or a box, some food on your doorstep and somebody comes along and collects it. It takes no effort," said Wilson who has left donations for the last three years she's lived in the neighborhood.

About half of the Miles Neighborhood participates in the project, Norback said.

Other neighborhoods, businesses and organizations have jumped on board and started collecting food and money at their sites.

Norback also collects cash donations at Rincon Market and uses the money to buy food from the local store for donations.

He keeps a blog at to keep donors updated on the project's progress.

The project

Vist Nominate.html to nominate someone for a Ben's Bell. To learn more about the project, and find out how you can make bells, go to or call 628-2829. Recipients also are featured on Friday's Morning Blend on KGUN 9.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at or at 573-4224