For the next couple weeks I will be posting sections of chapter six of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I wrote the book to teach people who lead volunteers to do good work in your community.
This is section five and is a chance for you, my blog readers, to enjoy the book for free.
COLLECTING THE FOOD
In chapter five we talked about the Charity Food Bag Drop. This is an amazing event that we use to collect massive amounts of food. Out of all the crazy ideas that we’ve had and tried to accomplish to fundraise, gather food, and raise awareness for A Day of Hope, the Charity Food Bag Drop has been the most successful.
A key element to that Charity Food Bag Drop is to always have a central place to collect food. Even as I write this book we have food securely stored in boxes in an area of our church until Thanksgiving. To give you an idea of the amount space you might need to store food, last year we kept everything in two closets that were about 12 feet wide by 12 feet long. That was all the space we needed to feed 394 families. Granted, we had to be pretty creative to pack all the food into those two closets. We had to place everything into strong, double packaging taped boxes, then stack the boxes side by side about seven feet tall in the closets.
Another benefit of having all the food stored in one location is that every time someone wants to donate food, you can ask them to bring the donated food to the same place. If anyone calls to donate food to us, I ask if they can have the food delivered to the church. This means we don’t have to pick it up and we eliminate the work needed to move it from place to place. When it comes to collecting food, the less you have to touch it, the better. Try to have your food collection point at the same area that you will be sorting the food and delivering the food from.
On the flyers we staple to bags that we use to ask for food donations, we list preferred food items. A sample of that flyer can be found in the appendix. Items we list are:
- Canned sweet potatoes
- Canned yams
- Evaporated milk
- Canned pie filling
- Pie crust (non-refrigerated)
- Chicken broth
These are items that we never have enough of and they are all nonperishable. Anytime someone calls me offering to donate food, this is the list of needed food I give them.