Across the country, Americans coordinate local food drives to help their neighbors in need.
If you are beginning to organize such an event, it’s important that you do so in conjunction with your local food bank. Your local Feeding America member can provide advice on food safety, what types of items to accept or refuse, and what timing makes the most sense for your event. Often, our member food banks have regularly-scheduled food drives throughout the year, and your neighborhood efforts will have the maximum effect if held in conjunction with theirs.
A hastily-organized local food drive can actually put more strain on your local food bank than you imagine. Feeding America members maintain the highest standards of food safety, which means not every product is suitable for donation. Your local food bank will need to sort and inspect all donated items to ensure that they are absolutely safe.
The best way to support hunger-relief in your community is by making a financial donation to your local food bank, and encouraging your friends to do the same. Your local Feeding America member can then utilize the buying power of the Feeding America network to acquire and ship healthy, nutritious food at deeply discounted rates. But if you do want to conduct a food drive, please only do so after reaching out to your local Feeding America member
- Collect only non-perishable food items.
- Do not collect any homemade items.
- Please keep personal care items separate from food items (i.e. mouthwash).
- No glass, please! Glass items can chip and break easily in the barrels.
- Feeding America's Network of food banks commonly accept the following items from food drives:
• Canned foods like soup, fruit or vegetables
• Fresh produce & frozen foods
• Dairy & juice within the expiration date
• Excess food from promotions & seasonal products
• Excess food from trade shows