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What is a Food Drive?

By Nychole Price
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A food drive is an event that is held to collect canned and boxed foods to feed the hungry. This is an organized event that is held over a period of one day to three weeks. Usually a committee sets a goal to achieve a certain amount of non-perishable food items within a set time frame.

There are several types of food that committees wish to collect during a food drive. These foods include, but aren't limited to, canned chicken and tuna, evaporated milk, muffin and pancakes mixes, dry cereals, oatmeal, spaghetti, canned fruits and vegetables, canned soups, dried fruits, jams and jellies, peanut butter and boxed juices. These foods can supply the hungry with all the foods necessary to meet the nutritional requirements.

There also are several types of food drives. A neighborhood food drive is where a person passes out fliers to collect food at a central drop-off point in his neighborhood. Workplace versions are held at places of business and coworkers are encouraged to bring their excess non-perishable items to work. Special event drives are held at major events such as concerts and parties, and cans are collected for admission. Competition food drives are challenges between offices or classrooms to see who can collect the most food items.

These events are very simple to organize. You first need to gather a group of volunteers. You can invite family members, people from your place of business or members of your community. Assign people to make containers, hang fliers and collect food at specified locations.

The containers used to collect goods during the food drive should be attractive to people. Make sure it is large enough to collect an ample quantity of goods. A decorated trash container works well. If you plan on collecting goods outside of a business, make sure to get their permission first.

Advertise your food drive well ahead of time if you wish to make it a bigger success. Most people need notice to drop off food. This will allow them time to put it in their car before heading to work or school. You can advertise through fliers, newspaper ads, various websites, or on a bulletin board.

Arrange how the food will be distributed to the hungry. You can contact shelters, food banks or church organizations to arrange to drop off the food. If desired, you can also distribute it yourself to families you know are in need of help.

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Discussion Comments

By CarolineLiu — On May 10, 2011

The campaign helps by making less people suffer from hunger and contributes to the world people's health. Besides, it can improve the optimization of resource allocation.

By win199 — On Sep 28, 2010

@baileybear - There are great food assistance sites out there that specialize in working with people like you just described. One of them for a fact is Angel Food Ministries which has been around for years and provides quality food for lower prices in bundles. Aside from that, I have known people to "dumpster dive" and retrieve expired food or food that was "bad" (according to the grocer) in order to make ends meet. I think that's gross, but hey, to each his own I suppose....

By baileybear — On Sep 28, 2010

@Kamchatka - That made me laugh. I think the point in that first sentence was to give a general idea of what a food drive does - it feeds those in need, yes. And aren't those who are in need of food, indeed, hungry? Lots of people make food donations to other families as well rather than participate in food drives, so you see there could be families that are hungry but make to much to be on food stamps or something and need an extra little boost.

By Kamchatka — On Sep 28, 2010

I would not say that a food drive is a way to feed the hungry so much as the needy. I'm hungry. I'm hungry right now, but I wouldn't go to a food pantry and get donations because I don't need them. Know what I mean?

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