By Stephanie Stinnett
A few weeks ago, I had a post about food insecurity in America, and I found that nearly 1 in every 8 American’s don’t know how or where their next meal will come from. One of the ideas to help that I briefly discussed was starting a food drive. A food drive is not only a great way to help your local community, but it’s also a great way to spread the word about food insecurity and get your community involved in helping solve it.
Step One: Establish where you would like the goods collected in your drive to go, such as a food bank or a local shelter. Once you’ve established where your collected goods will go be sure to give them a heads up just in case they need to make any special arrangements to accommodate the extra supplies.
Step Two: Find a place to host your food drive. This is one great way of getting the community involved. Local grocery stores or churches are often more than happy to allow a booth or table out front. Local schools are also often happy to help, and it gets the kids involved in helping the community as well. To get even greater participation you can have a little prize for the person or group who donates the most food.
Step Three: Find Volunteers. People can volunteer their time in many ways. They can help spread the word about the food drive, sit at the table where donations are being collected, or help transport the donation to the local food bank. Talk to your friends and family about volunteering a little bit of their time. If you attend a church with a youth group, try talking to the director to see if any youth may be interested in volunteering.
Step Four: Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! One of the biggest part to a successful food drive is getting the word out. Tell as many people as you possible can. Post about it in social media, maybe create an event to remind people. If you can, print up flyers and place them around town. Talk to local news stations and see if they would be willing to mention the food drive about a week before the actual event. The more people who know about the event, the more food you will receive to help those in need.
Step Five: After the event transport the food collected to a local food pantry or shelter, or any other organization that you established before your food drive began. Pre-arrange a time and date with your selected place and have some team members there to help you unload any food collected.
Step Six: Celebrate a job well done. Congratulations, you have successfully completed your food drive. Be sure to thank anyone who volunteered their time or resources. You have done an amazing thing to help end food insecurity in your community.
Hosting a food drive may sound like a scary and big thing to do but following these steps should make it a much easier process. Remember that every little bit helps to end food insecurity in your community. If everyone works together we can end food insecurity.
“25 Tips and Ideas for Planning a Successful Food Drive.” SignUpGenius - Mobile, m.signupgenius.com/#!/resources/articles/nonprofit/food-drive-tips-ideas.
Stinnett, Stephanie. “Food Insecurity in America.” T's 4 Hope, 19 Sept. 18AD, www.ts4hope.com/blog-1/food-insecurity-in-america.