Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nissan Gives Back: The Force is With Them

Our ride for the day: A 2017 Nissan Rogue
Every year, Nissan arranges a volunteer day in New York City, where they invite auto writers and bloggers to help the community. For the second year in a row, we spent the day at the New York Common Pantry, a food pantry in East Harlem, giving bags of food to the working poor and needy.

The food pantry gives low income families and needy individuals and bag of fresh, healthy food every other week, as a supplement to other food programs. What's unique about this program is that the beneficiaries can choose what grains, proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables they prefer, from a changing list of purchased and donated items. Our job, along with Nissan execs, was to put together the food bags, and throw in a couple of extras: fresh sandwiches, salads and other donated goodies.

The pantry resembled a vegetarian's kitchen: bags of dried beans, eggs, fresh sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and lots of lots of bananas. Whole grain pastas, grits and oatmeal, milk, and canned tomatoes filled the bags and recipients carefully packed their bags into grocery carts or wheelie suitcases.

Holiday cheer at Maxwell's Central Park
As usual, after the day of hard work, Nissan treated us to appetizers and drinks, this year at Maxwell’s Central Park. The bar food included a vegetarian friendly black bean dip with guacamole and a jicama and red pepper relish, spinach dip served with really spicy pita chips and sweet potatoes fries.

An extra treat
We were chauffeured to the bar in a fleet of brand new 2017 Nissan Rogues. The compact SUVs seat 5 and we were all comfortable on our short drive.

The main event
After fueling up (on drinks and appetizers) we took a much longer ride downtown for the main event: a special private screening of the new movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Nissan is capitalizing on the car's to tie in with the movie.
Thanks Nissan: private screening of Rogue One

Besides the name, Nissan Rogue has nothing to do with Rogue One, which is all spaceships and Rebel warriors. Plus intergalactic warfare, martial arts and geeky allusions to other Star Wars movies; blink and you'll miss R2-D2 and C-P3O.

I loved the original Star Wars movies, but never saw the later films; it was fun to jump back into the franchise and even get a peek at Princess...well, I don't want to give anything away.  See it for yourself.

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