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Host a Food Drive, Build Community

Poster with FARSB logo and text, "Food Drive,"  with cans.

Many organizations, like FARSB, are always in need of a helping hand. We feed over 400,000 people every month, but there is still more food to be acquired, distributed, and fed to those in need. You can play a key role in the food distribution process by hosting a food drive!

Not only do food drives help us, but they can be extremely beneficial for

building your community, making valuable use of your time, and helping families in need.

There are many factors to consider before getting started, but don’t worry we have compiled a list of components to consider when hosting a food drive of your own.

Don’t Do it Alone

Like many things in life, this should not be done alone. Organize a group within your community, staff, or school to begin planning. Once you have assembled your team, start assigning positions and line up your goals. A list of possible roles include:

  • Marketing Masters: Creating flyers, posters, decorating boxes, and promoting on social media.

  • Community Awareness Leaders: Putting out boxes, alerting neighbors, local businesses, and clubs of your food drive, and requesting opportunities to speak to their team about your giving efforts

  • Organization and Prep Team: Organizing donations to prepare for a safe delivery

  • Delivery Person(s): Transporting the donations to the food bank.

Location is Key

Choosing a location for your food drive boxes can be a defining factor in the success of your fundraising efforts. Some may have the luxury of having a storefront for the public to give, while others may need to put in a little extra work to collect donations. That is totally okay! Make sure your collection boxes are in high traffic areas that are easily visible to the public and focus on bringing attention to these areas. Your marketing team may even need to consider decorating your boxes to add a little "pizzazz" to generate more visibility.

Pick a Date

Your date may vary depending on other activities your team is committed to, but generally food drives last between 2-6 weeks. Of course, if your food drive ties into an event, it may be much shorter than that, but we do recommend keeping it less than 2 months to emphasize a sense of urgency.

Strategize a Plan

Once the logistics of the drive have been worked out, the next key to consider is your strategy.

It is important to understand how you are going to promote your drive, and where your organization would get the most publicity.

Some promotional strategies include:

  • Writing a press release and sharing it with your local news outlets

  • Creating a simple graphic for social media to share on your own personal page or even your own businesses page. Ask for those working with you to like, share and even comment on the post to increase the chances of it being viewed.

  • Word of mouth. Start informing members of your community about the food drive, making it apart of your schools daily announcements, or mention it at your next office meeting.

  • Setting up a booth outside your school, business or even in your own neighborhood with brochures and fliers describing the food drive and the time frame in which it will be held.

Food and Funds

In addition to collecting cans, it doesn’t hurt to also rally in monetary donations. At FARSB, every donation really does make a huge difference. After all, every $1 can provide 9 meals. Place envelopes out or a jar and make this a Food and Funds drive!

Pick a Theme

Many of our food drive donors have created themes to tie back into their mission, their everyday work, and the goal they hope to achieve. Themes are great because they remind potential donors of the issues many are facing during certain times of year. Here are just a few:

  • Fighting Summer Hunger

  • Hunger is Not on Vacation

  • Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat

  • Holiday Hunger

  • Winter Warmth (soup, hot cocoa, tea)

  • Earth Day (everything green)

  • We “Can” Do Anything Together!

  • A Taste of Italy (pastas and sauces)

  • Meating the Needs (canned tuna, canned spam, canned chicken)

  • A Gift from the Heart

  • Sharing the love with food

  • Canning Hunger

Set a Goal

Before you get started, make sure you and your team are all on the same page. Set a goal, set the bar high, and crush it! You can set individual goals, weekly team goals, and overall goals. Work hard and ensure everyone is aware of the progress being made and the progress still needed to be made.

When all is done and the donations are dropped off at the food bank, gather your team, pat yourself on the back, and discuss where you succeeded and where you could improve next time, then join us for another food drive!


Accepted items for Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino:

Peanut Butter, canned meat and fish, canned soup enriched rice & pasta, canned ready to eat meals, dry beans, canned vegetables, cereal, powdered milk, tomato products, baby food (no glass)‎.

Unsure if an item is acceptable for the food drive? Please contact us at (951) 359-4757.


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