November 17, 2016
Last week, we hosted our first food drive of the school year at Lynn’s Stop and Shop. We were so grateful that the generous Lynn community donated 510 pounds of food providing 425 meals to the community! And a big shout out to Move For Hunger, Two Men And A Truck and Lynn’s Stop and Shop for making our food drive a huge success! Here are some tips that helped us have a successful food drive. We hope this helps those reading that are interested in hosting their own!
Step One: Organize
Our first step was to contact Move For Hunger, an organization that helps organize food drives. They sent us a letter to give to the Stop and Shop manager, requesting permission to host the food drive. They also connected us with Two Men And A Truck Moving Company that generously delivered the food to the Greater Boston Food Bank for us.
If you or your organization prefers to organize on your own, here are a few components to consider: location, date and time, how you will contact the food drive site requesting permission to host the drive, and transportation of the collected food from the host site to your local food bank.
Step Two: Promote
Be sure to get the word out about details of your food drive! Move For Hunger made us flyers with the date, time and suggested items to donate. We placed the flyers around town at local coffee shops and also told family and friends. We also posted details on social media including suggested items and where the food would be donated.
Step Three: Collect
LYHA members set up at both entrances to Stop and Shop, ensuring that we had the opportunity to let each customer know about the drive. We kindly asked community members entering the store to consider donating non-perishable food items. We handed out a list of suggested food items so people could easily choose a few items to donate while grocery shopping. We also made posters that had our group’s name (so people know who is hosting it) and let people know that the food would be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Many people donated money instead so we were able to purchase food at Stop and Shop after the drive and add to the food collection. Boxes were set up so we could put the food directly in them to easily transport from the store to the food bank. Be sure to thank each person that kindly donates! And even if someone decides not to donate, thank them for their time anyway!
Step Four: Deliver
Thankfully, Two Men And A Truck volunteered to bring the collections to the food bank who then weighed the amount of food donated. We also suggest asking family or friends to borrow a bigger car to hold all the boxes and deliver directly to the place you’re donating the food. We guarantee there will be more boxes than you imagined, so be sure to use a car or a few cars big enough to hold all the boxes!
Step Five: Reflect
After our food drive, we took time to reflect on how everything went. It’s important to think about positives and negatives of the entire process and where there is room for improvement when you host your next drive. We asked ourselves what went well, what our biggest challenges were, and what we would do differently next time around. We celebrated our successes and also sent thank you cards and emails to Stop and Shop, Move For Hunger and Two Men And A Truck, and gave them shout outs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s always great to personally thank the generous people that contributed to the success of your food drive!
By the way, our food drive was featured in the Lynn Item! Check out the article here.
P.S. In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16, 2017, we will host another food drive in Lynn. More details to come!