Food Drives

Food drives are a great way to involve your friends and family in the fight to end hunger. Whether you host a traditional food drive to collect canned goods or hold a virtual food drive to raise funds for your local food bank, you can make a big difference.

What is a food drive?

Food drives help food banks, food pantries, and soup kitchens collect food donations to keep their shelves stocked. Food drives are also a great way to raise awareness about hunger in your community and encourage others to help. Hunger affects every community, but many people don’t realize it.

Individuals, schools, community organizations, and businesses can all host food drives on behalf of their local food banks.

What is a virtual food drive?

A virtual food drive is a great option if you cannot collect donations in person or are unable to deliver donations to your local food bank. Instead of collecting food, a virtual food drive allows you to collect funds online for your local food bank or the Feeding America network.

Many food banks prefer virtual food drives over traditional food drives. Food banks can often purchase food for much lower than what you would pay at a grocery store. Also, sorting and inspecting donating food items can take a lot of time and resources, so a virtual food drive helps food banks put those resources to other uses.

Setting up an online fundraiser for Feeding America is easy! Get started today.

How to organize a food drive

Hosting a food drive is simple and only takes a few steps. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when planning your food drive.

  1. Contact your local food bank: Before you organize a food drive, make sure you contact your local food bank. Every member food bank works with food drives differently so speaking directly to your food bank is the best way to learn how to support them. Your local food bank may also have promotional materials and other advice for hosting the best food drive. Be sure to ask for the following information:
    • Do they prefer virtual food drives or traditional food drives?
    • What guidelines should you follow to ensure food donations are safe for food bank visitors?
    • How do you register as part of an official food drive?
    • Should you drop off your donations or will they pick them up? 
  2. Select dates to begin and end your food drive: Food drives can last however long you’d like but most food banks recommend running your drive for at least two weeks.
  3. Collect the most wanted items: For virtual food drives, this would be monetary donations. For traditional food drives, can provide you with an up-to-date list of the most needed items. Simply share that list with your friends and family along with the directions for dropping off their donations. Your local food bank may even be able to provide you a box with their logo to collect their donations.
  4. Deliver your donations to your food bank: Some food banks will pick up donations directly. However, many food banks are unable to pick up your food drive donations and will ask you to deliver them to their warehouse.
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