Get creative with your food drives. Adding a theme or slogan helps people to remember to bring their canned goods on the appointed day. A good theme is one that is catchy, funny, and family friendly.
You create a theme to help people remember to bring their canned and dry goods. Most people don’t normally bring a full grocery bag to church or school, so it can be easy for the food drive to slip their mind. A fun theme will help to increase participation.
Here are some different food drive themes that have been successful for others (this list will grow as I get more testimonials):
Fifth Sunday collection – In every month that has five Sundays, do a special food drive on the last Sunday. Parishioners bring canned and dry goods to Church that day that are donated to the food pantry. One benefit of this model is that it happens at regular intervals but not every month.
Bumper crop – A variation on the Fifth Sunday Collection, after church people leave yellow bags of canned goods in front of their bumpers in the parking lot that get picked up by volunteers and brought to the pantry. The food that gets picked up is known as a ‘bumper crop’. Catchy.
Peanut butter and jelly drive – Partner with a school or church to have a drive that specifically requests only peanut butter and jelly. This one resonates with both kids and families because pretty much everyone loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (apologies to you who suffer nut allergies).
Superbowl of Soup – On Superbowl Sunday, have a collection that focuses on canned soup.
“Meat” the need – Have a food drive that focuses on canned or preserved meat and protein products.
Feed the children – Have a food drive that focuses on child friendly foods.
Casual Day – In a business setting, you can reward participation in a food drive by letting people ‘purchase’ the right to dress casually if they bring a donation of food or funds.
10 Most Wanted – Advertise your “10 most wanted”… the items that your food pantry receive as a donation. Publicize the drive in your bulletin, on posters, social media, wherever you think you can reach people. Repeat every 2-3 months, and people will get used to bringing your ’10 most wanted’ items regularly.