Getting started on your food drive
Share your interest in holding a food drive with a teacher or administrator at your school, your scout master, club president, clergy person, or family. Find out if there are any restrictions for holding a food drive, and find out what support you can hope for.
Contact SSKP at 860-388-1988 to let us know you are planning a food drive. Ask if we have a list of items that we need most.
Pick the location and dates of the food drive.
Set a goal for your food drive. How many pounds, or cans, or bags of food do you want to collect?
Select a place where donations will be dropped off and the food can be kept.
Provide collection boxes that are clearly marked for collecting food.
After the drive, have volunteers deliver the food to the soup kitchens. Call ahead and let us know when you will be delivering the food.
Holding the food drive
Now that your food drive plans are set, it’s time to get creative. Here are some ideas you can use to ramp up participation and bring
in donations that will help your community be more prepared.
Holding a dance or football game? Ask students to bring a can of food for a discount on their admission ticket.
Canned foods make great art! Host a competition for the best canned food sculpture. Create categories, such as funniest, scariest or biggest.
Leave the sculptures on display.
Make posters about the food drive and put them up in locations where people can see them. Pass out fliers with a list of nonperishable
foods and other items people should donate.
Get the word out through your school’s morning announcements, newsletters, e-mails or Web site.
Make a poster or sign shaped like a can showing how many pounds of food you plan to gather. Color in the can to mark your progress
in meeting your goal.
Coordinate your food drive with the Stamp Out Hunger campaign, organized each year by the U.S. Postal Service and the National
Association of Letter Carriers. The campaign, online at www.helpstampouthunger.com, encourages Americans to leave food drive
donations by their mailboxes for pick-up by mail carriers.
Ask your local grocery store if you can hold a food drive outside the store. Pass out food drive shopping lists to customers as they enter the store and let them know you’ll be there to accept their donations on the way out. Make sure you have signs that clearly denote who you are and what the food drive is for.
Write a press release about the food drive and contact your local weekly or community newspaper. Ask them to help promote the food
drive, or to come take a picture of the donations as they are delivered to the food bank.
Remember: We need help year-round. So start planning your food drive! Your community will thank you.
Food Drive Ideas
Creative Ideas to Make Your Food Drive a Success
Create competitions between classrooms, departments, groups or floors to see who will collect the most donations. Make sure the winners get a special prize for their winning donation!
Preferred Food Items
Utilize the list of preferred food items and designate “items of the day” for people to donate each day.
Plastic or paper bags are distributed to participants to take home and return it full of food. Include a preferred food items list in the bags or place them in mailboxes as a reminder of the items needed.
You can partner your food drive with a special event, using four or more cans of food as a full or reduced admission. Host coffee houses, breakfasts, lunches or concerts.
Five Pound Party
Ask each member of your group to bring 5 pounds of non-perishable food. A prize can be awarded for the person who has the most items in their 5 pound limit. Donate all the food
Five Dollar Party
Each member of the group spends $5 on non perishable food items. Prizes could be awarded for: the largest number of food items, and the biggest box filled with food items. Donate all the food!
Christmas in July…
Many organizations have food drives in the months of November and December. Consider having an Easter Food Drive, a Christmas in July food drive, or a back to school drive.
Distribute SSKP brochures to your neighbors with a personal note from you. Explain that you support the food pantry and that you will drop by on a certain day to pick up any items they would like to donate. Transport the items to SSKP after you collect them. Ask your neighbors if they would like you to come by once a month. Instead of collecting food, you can have a drive to collect funds for SSKP. The SSKP buys many staples at the CT. Food Bank for a very low cost per pound.
Food Item for the Month
Invite your group to bring a certain item needed by the soup kitchens to each meeting, or for an entire month. Over the year, you can provide a substantial amount of food donations! Ideas for food items are: Peanut Butter & Jelly Cereal Spaghetti or Pasta Canned Meat or Fish Spaghetti Sauce Canned Fruit Canned Vegetables Soup Crackers Macaroni & Cheese.
Even more ideas
Hold a neighborhood, club, or faith community based non perishable food drive
Have your group or club make a pot of beef stew or tray of lasagna for to our heat-n-eat program
Hold a canned ham drive
Pick apples or other seasonal fruit and donate to a pantry or meal site
Fast and donate the “food” you did not eat
Ask your birthday party guests to bring canned food items instead of gifts
Take our Food Stamp Challenge
Grow and donate extra vegetables to the pantries
Bake dessert to bring to one of our meal sites
Join our Stuff-a-Truck volunteer squad
Themed ideas for Food Drives
TGIF - Take Groceries in Friday
Meat the Need - canned meat drive
Make Every Bean Count - canned or dried beans drive
Fill ‘er Up - Fill a bus, truck, shopping cart, or some unlikely container with food donations
Go Fish - Fill a children’s wading pool with cans of tuna
“Plant a Garden” with canned vegetables
Fill in the Lines - Draw or mark an outline on a gym floor, athletic field, or fellowship hall with an area to fill in with food donations.
Build a “Mountain of Macaroni” in common places
Kids Packs - Macaroni & Cheese, alphabet soup, pudding and fruit packs, sugar-free applesauce, cereal bars, crackers, juice
Winter’s Coming - winter food items like stew and soup
Breakfast for Dinner - collect cereal, pancake mix, syrup, oatmeal, grits, etc.
Coffee Break Food Drive - coffee, tea, hot chocolate, powdered creamer, crackers
Lunch and Dinner Food Drive - boxed meals, tuna, canned chicken, instant mashed potatoes, canned pasta meals, beef stew, chili, soups, dry beans, rice