Collecting, sorting, and distributing food are components of an effective food drive. For many people who learn about the hunger issue, the natural inclination is to donate food through a food drive or other activity. This is a powerful way to engage the young and inexperienced volunteer to take action, and one that has immediate and direct impact.
While this handbook is titled “Beyond the Food Drive,” due to the effectiveness and longer impact of the other methods, we are starting where most people get involved. In this chapter, you will find specific information to ensure that your food drive or direct help meet the food needs of the program you plan to support.
If you would like to organize or aid a food drive, it is best to work with an existing soup kitchen, food pantry or food bank, and carefully follow their guidelines so you can effectively collect the foods they need most. Both volunteers and anti-hunger organizations can use the following steps on how to organize a food drive. With a little planning, food drives can be a fun and easy way to support your local food bank or food-rescue organization. The forms and tools included here may also be used by food providers to organize a food drive. Although it might seem like a daunting task, it’s actually pretty easy to host a food drive, and we can help make it even easier. We’ll give you everything you need—from basic instructions to posters you can use to publicize your food drive. Our suggestions are general guidelines—you should contact your local food bank to see which items your local food bank needs most.