Start A Food Drive
Because most people donate canned vegetables and soups to food drives for the needy, hunger centers usually have a surplus of these items and a deficit for other types of food. Our hunger centers are always in need of various types of food, such as: coffee, tea, cooking oil, canned fruit, breakfast cereals, spaghetti and spaghetti sauces, jelly, canned tuna, stew, sugar, salad dressings, mayonnaise, pickles and olives, canned chili, chicken and dumplings.
In addition, low-income individuals that are awarded Food Stamps can’t purchase many necessities with their stamps, so there is a great need for non-food items that include: toilet paper, hand soap, napkins, bath soap, laundry soap, dish soap, paper towels, toothpaste, window cleaners and floor cleaners.
There are numerous ways you and/or your organization can organize a food drive for one of our hunger centers:
Schools: Some schools organize a yearly food drive as a community service project. One fun way is to create a contest in which each class competes to bring in the most items during a week-long food drive. Schools even collect all the food in the principal’s office and call the drive “Can the Principal.”
Social Service Organizations: Numerous groups such as the Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Rotaries and Women’s Clubs have a mandate to participate in activities that benefit the community. These include asking members and friends to collect food and bring it to their meetings.
Your Church: Publish details about your food drive for two or more weeks in your church bulletin. Designate one Sunday for church members to donate food. Have a small truck in the church parking lot with a sign to DROP YOUR FOOD HERE. This will save you time and effort when you deliver the donations to our hunger center.
Banks/Drug Stores/Hospitals: Many businesses, particularly if they are new to a community, will organize a food drive to draw new potential customers into their establishments. This type of public relations effort demonstrates their interest in and commitment to helping community members.
Super Food Drive: We know of a protestant church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio that organized a clever and successful “super drive” for their local pantry. They printed small flyers announcing the date and purpose of the food drive and stapled them to used plastic grocery bags. The organization recruited all 120 congregation members to deliver a bag to every home in the city one week before the collection. The flyer instructed donors to place the bag filled with food near their mail box for church members to pick up. The result? Nearly 2 tons of food was collected!