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Step-by-Step: How to Host a Food Drive

This action guide is a step-by-step playbook on how to host your own food Drive.

  1. What You’ll need: Gather all the essentials that you’ll need to get started. Once you have them you’re ready to go to the next step!
    • Bins or boxes to house the products you are collecting 
    • Money for shipping (where necessary) or to cover the costs of transportation to the drop off location  
  2. Item Collection Guidelines: For food drives, you should request donations of unopened packages or cans of nutritious and non-perishable items. Items such as canned meat and fish, Peanut Butter, Canned fruits and veggies, Cereal, Soups, Pasta, Beans, and Rice are often of most need for Food Banks and shelters.
  3. Collection donations:  Great places to collect donations are in your school/community centers, outside of your local mall, or grocery store. You can also request that friends and people in your network who would like to support, drop the items off at your home. 
  4. Where to donate: Below are some ideas of where you can donate the items that you have collected including homeless shelters, food banks, and more.  The directories included below great resources for to identify donation locations within your communities.
    1. For Shelters 
      1. US National Homeless Shelter Directory
      2. Toronto Homeless Shelter Directory
      3. US National Women’s Shelter Directory
      4. Canadian National Women’s Shelter Directory
    2. For Food Pantries
      1. Feeding America Food Bank Directory
      2. Food Banks Canada Food Bank Directory
  5. Confirming the donation location: Once you identify the location that you would like to donate the collected items to, call the location and find out if they are taking donations and how to donate. 

Donation Drive Call Script: 

Introductions: Hi! My name is _______, and I would like to donate non-perishable food items to your [shelter/food bank]. May I please speak with someone about delivering these donations? 

Explain the Donation Drive:  I learned that there is a shortage of food item in [shelters/food banks] so I have decided to start a donation drive through Révolutionnaire, the social network for changemakers. I would like to donate these food items to your  [shelters/food bank/]. Do you have the capacity to accept donations at this time? 

If yes: Ask them to confirm the address of the drop off location and ask if packages can be mailed in. If packages can not be mailed in, ask when the best time to drop them off is and who you should ask for when you drop off the donations. 

If no:  Find another [shelter/food bank] in your area to donate the items to! 

Post and inspire: Finally, post a picture of the items that you collected in the lounge or share your experiences with your donation drive in the comments below to share feedback and inspire others to do the same! 

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