This past week I have been 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 seven and is a chance for you, my blog readers, to enjoy a section of the book for free.
PURCHASING THE FOOD
When you get ready to purchase the food for your families, you get to enjoy the hard work of your preparation or pay the price for not working hard in prior months. Remember that you can pay now (work hard to fundraise and gather food) or play now (play when you should have been fundraising and gathering food) and pay later. Either way you’re going to have to pay. And when you wait to pay, you end up paying interest.
When going to purchase the food, know what you’re going for. Make sure you have a well prepared list that reflects the needs you have, which you know based on the donated food you already counted.
When we go shopping we always contact the store about a week in advance to let them know what we will probably purchase from them and what amount we need. Usually we need the same items that I listed in the “Collecting Food” section. We have never had enough of those items donated, so we purchase them from a grocery store. You probably won’t have to worry about contacting the store ahead of time unless you’re planning to feed more than 75 families. For anything less than 75 families many times the store will have enough of the items you plan to purchase.
When purchasing the food, you’ll need to take care of the details of how you’re going to pay for the food with the money that is raised. We always pay with cash. One week before delivering the food, I withdraw a check from our nonprofit fiscal agent and cash the check. Then I use the cash to purchase the food that we need. Cash has been the most effective way we’ve found to pay for the food. It allows us go to whatever store we want, which is good because sometimes a store might be out of the food we need or we might need something at the last minute. If you just get a check to one store, you’re stuck with having to purchase food only from that store. Keep your options open and try to use cash if you can, and make sure you keep all the receipts.
Sort all that food you purchase and get ready to pack it into some boxes.