Canstruction Duck

What fun food drive themes work?

What fun food drive themes work?

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.


As you can see in the photo above (and most of the photos for the food drive articles) one of my favorite food drive themes is "Canstruction." The way this food drive works is that you get a big public location, one or more teams (businesses like this for team building), and have a competition for the most creative design. The teams purchase the food for their design, and then your organization benefits from it. The one downside of this kind of food drive is that it takes a lot of time and is quite expensive for the participating teams. If you search for pictures of "canstruction," you'll see just how creative teams can get.

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 food drive 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 food 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.

Looking for more articles on food and funds drives? Try these:

Check out The Fundraiser's Playbook for a full list of fundraising articles.

Would you like to learn more about raising money for Church and Ministry? Check out Letters From The Almoner, now available on Amazon.com.

Image courtesy of 5chw4r7z, via Creative Commons License, some rights reserved.
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