Sponsoring a Food Drive
Sponsoring a food drive can be easy and fun! The following steps and ideas will help guide you and trigger your imagination for other creative ideas to raise food and funds for those in need.
Collecting and Delivering Food Drive Items
We request, if at all possible, your help by using your own resources to collect and deliver your food to the Food Bank. Due to the increase in demand for our delivery services and the resources it takes us to get a truck to you, please know that we would graciously appreciate your efforts to stop by one of our Food Bank branches at your convenience to pick up collection materials, if needed, and to deliver your collected food at the conclusion of your food drive. This will allow us to best utilize our resources to deliver the food to those in need throughout our 34 county service area.
Collection Materials: We have a number of squarrels (square barrels) and printable signs available for use. Squarrels are 18 inches square and 30 inches tall and lie flat for easy placement in your vehicle. The average sedan can hold 15 squarrels. Please be aware that squarrels can get very heavy when filled with cans of food. As an alternate, consider collecting food in cardboard boxes. Copy paper boxes that come filled with reams of paper are the perfect size. Once full, they are not too heavy to handle and they can be stacked in a corner, against the wall, or in a vehicle.
Delivery of Your Food Drive Items: If the food you collect can fit into a few cars, vans, SUVs or pick up trucks, please ask for volunteers to deliver it to your most convenient Food Bank branch. This would be so greatly appreciated. If you collect enough food to fill up a truck or are unable to find someone to deliver the food for you, please contact our Food Drive Manager via email or call at 919.865.3053 to schedule a pick up.
CLICK HERE for driving directions and hours of operation at each of our branches. For your convenience, we suggest you stop by in the afternoons, as our partner agencies in our warehouses in the mornings and it can be very busy during those times.
All necessary forms can be found at the bottom of this page. If at any time you need help, don't hesitate to contact our Food Drive Manager.
1. Plan ahead
Select or determine a leadership committee to plan the strategy and themes. Determine the start date and length of your drive.
2. Set a goal
Determine how many pounds or dollars you want to collect; set a goal for each participant and multiply this figure by your total head count. If your school, faith-based group, or company has a competitive spirit, you may want to check out the awards before you set your goal!
3. Register your food drive.
Register your drive as soon as possible. CLICK HERE to use our on-line food drive registration process.
4. Get management or administration involved
Encourage executives to send e-mail or voice messages showing their support for the food drive. If you are a school, have your principal announce the drive at an all school assembly. Have your company match employee donations.
For example $1 for each pound of food raised or a turkey for each barrel of food. Set up a day for executives and spouses to volunteer at the Food Bank warehouse. Challenge your principal to do an amazing feat if your goal is met. For example, put his/her desk on the playground for a day.
5. Promote your drive
Organize a kick-off event to build enthusiasm. Structure the event around your Food Drive theme. A limited number of barrels are available for pick up at your nearest Food Bank branch, if you would like to collect your items in barrels. Please be aware that barrels can get very heavy when filled with cans of food. As an alternate, consider collecting food in cardboard boxes. Copy paper boxes that come filled with reams of paper are the perfect size. Once full, they are not too heavy to handle and they can be stacked in a corner or against the wall. You can even have a competition to see who can fill the most boxes! Food Bank brochures and a limited number of grocery bags are available from the Food Bank, and you can distribute a flyer of Most Needed Items.
6. Build awareness and visibility
Invite participants (of high school age or older) to tour and sort food at the Food Bank. Volunteer sorts are limited. Call early to register.
Ask the Food Bank for information on hunger in your community and publish this information in your newsletter or school paper.
Set up a "Hunger Awareness" week; schools can order a School Hunger Curriculum to promote service learning.
7. Make it fun and simple to participate
Place grocery bags at every employee or student desk.
Throw a pizza party, school dance, or other event and charge a can or bag of food for admission.
Create competitions with lots of categories - largest individual donation, most protein, most unusual food or match your weight with pounds of food.
Have Macaroni Mondays, Tuna Tuesdays, Peanut Butter Week to encourage donations of high protein foods.
Check out the Virtual Food Drive for another easy way to participate. In addition, we can easily customize a virtual food drive for your organization. To email our Food Drive Manager to find out more click HERE.
Display daily or weekly totals in high traffic areas.
8. Be creative with publicity using e-mail, raffles, and other communication tools
Use our mailbox/paycheck stuffers (PDF) to remind people about donating.
Hold a raffle for a weekend getaway; each bag of groceries donated earns a raffle ticket. Raffle prizes can be as simple as prime parking spaces or a dress down pass.
9. Deposit donations regularly
REGISTER EARLY to help us coordinate pick-up/delivery issues and to allow time for the marketing materials we send to you to create needed visibility and interest. To register your drive, go to our on-line registration form. Envelopes with donations can be mailed or given to our drivers! You can also come see us in person. We are happy to provide individual receipts for cash donations. Please provide the names and addresses and we will mail receipts as quickly as possible.
The following forms are available for your convenience:
Paycheck Stuffer (PDF)
Food Drive Sign (PDF)
The Food Bank of North Carolina needs nutritious, non-perishable foods. Listed below are the most needed foods and items:
CLICK HERE for a list of Most Needed Items. This can also be printed out, posted and distributed as a flyer.
Interested in hosting a food drive for our Weekend BackPack program, CLICK HERE for a list of kid friendly BackPack items.
Please, no glass!
Canned Meals: Stews, Soups, Tuna, Ravioli, Lasagna, etc. (Pop-top cans a plus!)
For more information, please contact our Food Drive Manager via email or call at 919.865.3053.