Hunger in America is a little known, rarely acknowledged epidemic. In the wealthiest nation on the planet a staggering 1 in 6 households don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, and the problem is only getting worse. An eye-popping 45 million Americans use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. Proposed budget cuts to slash SNAP benefits and the rise in food prices exacerbates an already dire issue. More and more Americans rely on the assistance of food banks and food drives. Use these local food drive ideas to help ease the hunger in your community.
A great way to get a food drive rolling is to get the support and endorsement of businesses and grocery stores around your community. An ideal place to setup a food drive is at a local grocery store. Have volunteer’s setup shop outside the front doors to give out information and take collections from store patrons. Store customers may be inclined to add food goods to their shopping list and donate them on the way out.
Another way to get the community involved is to have a movie night. Approach the local movie theater about hosting a movie night and using food goods as the price of admission. The same concept can be applied for other community events such as sporting events or concerts. Have a raffle with donated prizes for the winners and with the cost of a ticket being an item of food.
Get your local schools involved. Competition is a great way to increase the production of your food drive. Setup a competition between grades or classrooms to see who can collect more food, and have small prizes for the class or grade that does the best. Have students go door to door, with parent supervision of course, to collect food goods and spread the word about your efforts.
Marketing your food drive is as important, if not more so, than the event itself. Choose a name for your food drive that will get people’s attention. Distribute plenty of flyers, emails and posters around the community, and make the food drop-off locations well known and easy to spot. Take out a print ad in your local newspaper and utilize social media. Create a Facebook page, Twitter account and Youtube video for the event and ask all of your friends and relatives to share them.
Use these helpful tips to make your community food drive a successful one. Together, we can help put an end to hunger in America!