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How to Conduct a Food Drive

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Food banks and soup kitchens provide meals for the poor as well as the homeless. But in order for food banks and soup kitchens to do what they do, they must rely on the generosity of donors. Acts 1:8 Ministry, a passionate non-profit organization focused on spreading kindness throughout the world is no stranger to the importance of donors and their respective donations. In fact, the Ministry confirms that it’s not uncommon for individuals, businesses, and community groups to partner with food banks and soup kitchens by collecting donations of food. Often by going door-to-door as part of a “food drive,” they receive canned foods and other non-perishable food items to be delivered to food banks or soup kitchens.

If you wish to conduct a food drive in your neighborhood, Acts 1:8 Ministry suggests reviewing the guidelines below to help make it a success.

First, determine when you will conduct the food drive. What day and time works best for you and any volunteers who may join you? Saturday mornings and early afternoons are popular choices. What neighborhood(s) will you canvas? Are there any holidays or community events that may impact your plans? Once you have settled on a day, time, and location, keep an eye on the long-range weather forecast. Be ready to adjust your plans if necessary.

Second, always respect the privacy and the property of the residents. Many people are resistant to door-to-door campaigns and consider them to be intrusive. People are generally more accepting of charitable campaigns, but you should still do what you can to show respect.

For example, you could canvas the area a few days before the scheduled food drive to inform the residents of who you are, what you will be doing, when you will be doing it, and how the donations will be used. You can distribute this information without even ringing doorbells. Simply print some flyers containing the relevant information and drop one off at each home. Since many front doors are now made of metal, you can attach the flyer to the door using an inexpensive magnet. If you are representing a business or community group, you may wish to use promotional magnets. Alternatively, you can place posters on bulletin boards, telephone poles, mailboxes, or other available public locations. However, only a small percentage of residents will take notice of these.

Also, considering the rising popularity of cloth grocery bags, as you inform residents about the upcoming food drive, you may want to tie a plastic bag to the doorknob at each home. Your flyer can include instructions for the residents to place their food donations in the bag and place it on their doorstep or driveway on the day of collection. Then you will not need to disturb them by ringing doorbells or knocking on doors.

Keep watch for “no solicitors” signs and avoid homes displaying such signage. Also, beware of dangerous pets. It is better to skip those homes than risk injury.

Since many homeowners are meticulous about lawn care, avoid walking on lawns. Stick to driveways and sidewalks. It may take a little longer, but it is better than offending people.

Finally, as you are collecting the food donations, consider using a wagon to carry them. Alternatively, have another volunteer drive a car or van down the street alongside you so you can place the donations in it. Be sure to thank any residents you meet who donate.

Food drives are a great way to make a difference in your community. Not only are you giving of yourself, but you are allowing everyone who donates food to participate in a small way. And you are benefiting the food banks and soup kitchens that depend on those donations.

About Acts 1:8 Ministry: Acts 1:8 Ministry has helped build over 130 water wells and towers in Africa, blessing hundreds of thousands of lives with clean water. As a 100% donor-supported organization, all efforts rely on generous donors who want to help spread kindness, strengthen their faith, grow the Christian church, and enrich communities.

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