Food drives are a great way for individuals, schools, clubs, organisations and companies to help supply the non-perishable items that are always needed by Foodbank.
Popular food drive items:
- Meals in a can
- Evaporated milk
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Canned soup
- Baby food
Tips for holding a successful food drive:
- Create your team – organising a food drive on your own can certainly be done, but it’s always easier and more fun with a group to help.
- Call your local Foodbank – let them know what you’re planning. They can tell you what they need most and can provide advice on having a successful drive.
- Establish roles and goals – choose a contact person and/or committee that will manage the food drive including logistics and communications. Set the goals and a timeline.
- Set things up – obtain strong collection containers (medium sized cardboard boxes that weigh 10kgs when filled are the most manageable), properly identify them and place them in highly visible places that are convenient for people to donate.
- Develop your message – a food drive theme is a great way to engage people. You could choose something that connects to the interests of your target audience and echoes their concerns about hunger in the community – the key is to be creative. For example, a video store used the theme ‘Fast Forward To End Hunger’. Create a ‘thermometer’ or chart to track the progress towards your goal. Create competitions between classrooms, departments, groups or floors to see who collects the most donations. Don’t forget to include the facts about hunger you can find on this website to develop the emotional pulling power of the message.
- Promote – advertise your food drive through whatever means you have available e.g. the newspaper, fliers, memos, e-mails, blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Include the dates of the drive and locations of the collection bins. Again think outside of the box. You could approach local churches, temples, mosques and clubs. Distribute flyers your book club, scouts troop and the front desk of every school in your area. You’ll be amazed at the reaction you can get from such efforts.
- Be flexible -it is common for some people to want to give money instead of, or in addition to, food. Food and funds are equally important contributions so you may like to promote the option of donating funds along with your food drive. Simple ask people to make cheques out to the local Foodbank or encourage them to visit our website to make a secure online donation.
- Arrange for transportation – a big part of organising a food drive is getting the food to Foodbank. Arrange for the transportation of your collection to the nearest warehouse. A helpful tip is to reach out to a local business with transportation resources for assistance and get them involved. If your collection is particularly large, the Foodbank may be able to coordinate a pickup.
- Say “Thanks” – Once the food drive is over, it’s important to say thanks to all involved and let them know how much food was collected via the same channels you used to promote the drive in the first place.