One of the ways to combat hunger in our community is organizing a food drive. Food drives are a great way to stock the shelves at the local food banks and provide every Hamiltonian the opportunity to contribute in the fight against hunger. Encourage neighbours, friends, coworkers, church members, and fellow students to join in!
How to Organize a Successful Food Drive
GETTING STARTED. It has been our experience that successful food drives all have the same things in common. The greatest success stories started with establishing a small committee to plan and coordinate the food drive. There are many aspects to consider for a successful food drive. You may need to recruit volunteers to help with:
- Volunteer Recruitment
- Food Collection
- Announce results
1. Develop a plan for carrying out the food drive.
- Select a contact person (or chairperson) from your committee
- Set a goal of how many pounds of food you hope to raise
- Set a date and determine the duration of the drive. You may want to hold a food drive that may only last for a few hours because it is centered around an already existing event or you can determine the food drive is the event and set out to hold it over a short period of time such as few days or a week. Indicate the start dates and end dates of your food drive.
- Contact Hamilton Food Share with the following information:
- Name, address and telephone number/email of the contact person
- Dates of the drive
- Date you are dropping off
- Get directions to the food bank as well as parking and unloading instructions
The most successful food drives are ones where committee members have utilized every opportunity to advertise their food drive. Examples are:
- Develop a one-page flier or poster describing the food drive event. Put the fliers at highly visible locations. Ensure the date(s) and contact person information is on the flyer. Use other information formats as:
- news letters
- list the most needed food items in your flier
List of Most Needed Items
2. Volunteer Recruitment
There are many “hands on” tasks throughout a food drive such as setting up the collection sites, collecting all the food for the various sites to one collection point and at the end of the drive packing the food and transporting it to Hamilton Food Share. We would love to meet you so bring your collected food down to Hamilton Food Share and meet our warehouse staff. Much too often we have only a telephone voice or an email to identify you and it would be our great pleasure to meet wonderful community minded people who worked so hard for us. It gives us a chance to congratulate you and thank you in person but if that is not possible please contact us at the number below for further assistance.
3. Food Collection:
- Supplies: You will need containers or boxes for your collection sites. Decorate them, make them personalized or add a small Hamilton Food Share sign so the donors know where the food is being donated. We can supply these signs or send you an email with an attachment you can print off.
- We can also supply smaller boxes that the food would need to be packed in so the boxes are uniform and can be stacked safely for transportation. You would need to pick these boxes up prior to your food drive. We can also supply tape guns to assist you in this process. Make sure delivery date or pick up date is confirmed.
Mona Santucci, Warehouse Manager
Hamilton Food Share
339 Barton Street
Stoney Creek Ontario
905-664-9065 ext. 233
Warehouse hours 9:00am-4:00pm
4. Announce your results:
- Let your donors know how much their support contributed to the successes of your food drive.
- Hamilton Food Share will weigh your donation and send a letter of acknowledgment with the total amount of pounds raised thanking your group for supporting us in the fight against hunger.
Behind the Scenes at Hamilton Food Share
Hamilton Food Share raises and distributes almost 2.5 MILLION pounds of donated product annually. The Food Recovery Program supplies 37% of the food given out at local emergency food centres.
Hamilton Food Share’s warehouse and refrigerated truck meet the food industry’s standard for shipping and receiving. The operation can easily receive or pick up donations effectively and quickly. A staff of three and hundreds of volunteers facilitate the work of our food recovery program.
Eventually we hope there will be no need for this service but currently the need to find additional food supplies has never been greater. The Hamilton Food Share operation has become a vital resource in feeding people through the emergency food network in our community.