Friday, December 24, 2010

Now’s a great time for a holiday food drive

With so many people in a generous mood at this time of year, the holidays are a popular time for food drives. So how about using some of your spare time this holiday season to hold your own drive? Not only will it help your neighbors in need, it will help your community food bank be more prepared in case of a disaster or emergency.
The free Get Ready Food Drive Toolkit (PDF)has everything you need to know to plan and hold your food drive, from picking a location to delivering the contributions. It’s also full of great ideas you can use to make your food drive a success. Among the ideas:

• Work with a grocery store: Get in touch with your local grocery store and ask if you can set up a donation site at the store. Pass out shopping lists of things your food bank needs to customers as they enter the store.

• Incentivize your food drive: Incentives can fuel your food drive. If the drive is at your place of business, talk to your human resources department to see if you can offer workers a casual dress day if they contribute to your food drive.

• Make it a competition: Competitions excite people, so make your food drive a
contest. If you’re holding the food drive at your school, make it a competition between grades or homerooms with the winner earning a pizza party or other recognition.

• Fill a bag with food: Encourage people to give more by asking them to fill a bag. Provide paper bags with instructions on what is needed and where and when to return filled bags.

• Stuff a truck: Some food drive organizers challenge givers to “stuff a truck.” Participants are encouraged to bring their donations to a specific location where a truck is parked, with the goal of providing a truckload to the food bank.

• Hold a raffle: Encourage people to give by offering them a chance at getting something in return through a raffle. The more food they donate, the more tickets they receive. Ask local businesses to donate prizes for the raffle, such as store gift cards.

• Start small: If you don’t have time to hold a community-wide food drive, do something small. If you’re having friends over for New Year’s Eve, ask them to bring a few canned goods for the food bank instead of wine. If you live in an apartment, ask the building manager if you can put a contribution box in the lobby with a sign.

Looking for more tips for a great food drive? Read our Q&A with Molly McGlinchy, food resources coordinator for the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., or listen to the interview as a podcast.

With a little bit of creativity and help from the Get Ready Food Drive Toolkit, your event will help deliver some of that famous holiday cheer to those who may need it most.


nelliebly said...

Really great ideas! Thanks for the reminder.

DaltonMinimum said...

I like the idea of holding food drives at other times of year. I am always too busy at Xmas and Thanksgiving -- too hectic. But a spring drive could work,especially with schools.