Donations to the San Francisco Food Bank have suffered with the economy. But swimmer Michael Phelps' marijuana bong mishap has proved to be a boon: Kellogg's donated 2 tons of cereal boxes with the Olympian's photo after ending his contract.
When the cereal-maker signed Phelps, who won a record-setting eight gold medals in Beijing, it was considered quite a victory. After all, popular athletes usually go with Wheaties, a brand that belongs to competitor General Mills. Then, two months ago, a photo surfaced of Phelps smoking what appeared to be marijuana. That happened right around the time his contract with Kellogg's expired, and it wasn't renewed.
Two weeks ago, the San Francisco Food Bank got a delivery.
"We got about four pallets — over 2 tons — of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and they have Michael Phelps on the cover," says Paul Ash, director of the food bank. "It's always great to get cereal. It's one of those items that low-income people really can use. It's something you can make a quick breakfast with. So we're thrilled to get the donation."
Kellogg's had no comment about the donation of boxes with Phelps on the cover.
Ash says the boxes flew off the food bank's shelves — well, most of them.
"We do have two boxes downstairs, I noticed. We sometimes keep products around that are unusual," he says.
But Ash says they won't be auctioning these souvenir boxes off on eBay — that would be a violation of their donations policy.