Organizing a Food Drive: Tips and Tools
Organizing a food drive is a simple and easy way to help the food pantry boost its food supplies and serve more people. Food drives can be large or small, one time, or on-going. Regardless of the size, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure it is a success. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Coordinate with us.
Call or email the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry at (703) 754-5990 to tell us about your food drive. We can provide you with a list of any specific needs, as well as coordinate a mutually convenient time for delivery.
- Determine date and time.
Food drives are popular around the holidays, but there’s no need to wait to organize one. Make a real difference any time of the year. You may be able to get more donations during a time of year when people aren’t giving in so many other areas of their lives.
- Ask for donations and volunteers.
Consider people in your family, neighborhood, school, church, workplace or community. There are lots of creative ways to collect items. Be sure to keep the collection box in a central place accessible to everyone:
- Put a clear plastic storage bin in the break-room or reception area to collect donations.
- Ask neighbors to leave donations by their mailbox for you to collect on a specific date.
- Encourage guests to bring donations to a party at your home instead of a host(ess) gift.
- More ideas…
- Get the word out.
Let people know about your food drive, what is needed, and when and where to drop off donations.
- Insert a flyer in mailboxes
- Send emails
- Post on Facebook
- Make an announcement in your school or company newsletter
- Hang flyers in the cafeteria or other public space so everyone can see it Click here to download a Sample Food Drive Flyer.
- Ask your friends and family to ask their friends to participate.
- Be thankful for all donations.
- Graciously accept all donations, no matter how big or small. Everything helps.
- Afterward, send a thank you note (maybe by group e-mail) to everyone thanking them for participating, and encouraging them to donate to the food pantry on their own.
- Celebrate your success and tell people who participated how many cans, or other items, you collected for the food pantry.
- Deliver all the donations you collect.
The Haymarket Regional Food Pantry regular hours for accepting donations are Tuesday/Thursday from 6-8:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am – Noon. You may also call or email to set up a scheduled time to drop off donations. Be sure to organize your volunteers to help (if you have a lot of donations to deliver).