A food drive is a worthy project that is sure to benefit any neighborhood or community, philanthropist Ian Mitchell King explains. As a Rotarian who has worked on multiple projects in the Los Angeles area, he has many years of experience helping plan, organize, and coordinate a range of charitable projects. He offers five winning strategies that food drive organizers can use to ensure their venture is as successful as possible.
Research to Ensure the Food Drive will Meet the Community’s Needs.
Inflation and job losses have led to a growing number of people turning to food banks in order to put food on the table. However, one should not assume that all food donations would be acceptable.
When planning a food drive, it may be wise to talk with the charity that will benefit from the drive to find out what they need most. The answer could surprise you and change how the original food drive was planned out.
For instance, one food collection program discovered that the program they partnered with didn’t want granola bars, as many homeless individuals are unable to chew them due to dental problems. Others have found that not all food banks welcome fresh fruits and vegetables due to the inability to store these food items.
Additionally, food banks may have seasonal needs that food drive organizers may want to consider. Turkeys, boxes of stuffing, and pumpkin pies are likely to welcome ahead of the holiday season.
Plan out the Food Drive to Ensure it Flows Smoothly
Careful planning is a must if a food drive is to flow smoothly. Nothing can be left to chance.
After organizers decide which charity to partner with and which foods to collect, it’s time to decide how to promote the food drive. The drive can target local businesses, work with schools, or focus on a particular community.
Each person participating in the drive should know what to do and when to do it. Important tasks include:
Promoting the food drive on social media
Asking local businesses to help by donating money and goods and/or setting up donation collection points.
Picking up donated goods from collection points or even individual homes.
Sorting donated goods
Transporting donations to the charity benefiting from the food drive
Bring in the Help
A lot of hard work goes into making a food drive successful. That is why food drive organizers want to ask volunteers to help with various tasks.
Volunteers can help pick up food, sort food, or even promote the drive by handing out flyers or advertising on social media. They can also help the charity that is benefiting from the drive by making and giving out food packages.
Offering volunteer opportunities helps to get people involved in the drive, even if they can’t give food or a monetary donation. It also creates an awareness of the local community’s need for food bank services.
Promote the Food Drive both Online and Offline
Create an appealing name for the food drive that explains, in a nutshell, who will benefit from the drive and what type of food will be collected. The food drive name should be used consistently on all online and offline ads.
Use social media to promote the drive. Many communities have a community Facebook page where you can post an online flyer promoting the drive. Use your personal social media accounts to promote the drive and encourage others to share the information.
You can also ask local stores, libraries, schools, and other facilities about putting up a poster promoting your drive. Having flyers that people can take with them is a plus to help potential donors remember the food drive information.
Keep Tabs on the Drive as it Progresses.
Ian Mitchell King explains that even a well-planned food drive cannot run on autopilot. Organizers need to keep tabs on the event to ensure there are no glitches or problems. If volunteers cannot help out as expected, organizers should have a plan in place to recruit others. If the drive isn’t collecting enough of the right foods, a new marketing campaign may be in order to bring in the right donated items.
Food drive organizers will also want to note what strategies work best to plan successful future drives. Food banks, homeless shelters, and other facilities always need food, so there will always be a need for savvy, experienced food drive organizers.
Organizing a food drive takes a lot of hard work, as Ian Mitchell King knows from experience. However, the end result is always worth the effort and sacrifice. King encourages would-be food drive organizers to consider the tips outlined below to ensure the drive is as smooth and successful as possible.
This is a Contributor Post. Opinions expressed here are opinions of the Contributor. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and cannot investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the Contributor to disclose. Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles may be professional fee-based.