Get Involved: Organize a Food Drive for the NTFB

by Danielle Leahy

As the weather cools and thoughts begin to run towards the holidays and family lets not forget the less fortunate in our area. Now, more than ever, those living below the poverty line need your help and organizing a work canned food drive is a great way to Get Involved with your co-workers, highlight your business or organization, and raise awareness and much needed donations for the North Texas Food Bank.  

The North Texas Food Bank’s mission is to passionately pursue a hunger-free community and “is a non-profit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of 1,146 feeding programs in 13 North Texas counties. The NTFB supports the nutritional needs of children, families and seniors through education, advocacy and strategic partnerships. Close the Gap is the NTFB’s 3-year initiative to unite the community to narrow the food gap by providing access to 50 million meals annually by 2011.”

Organizing a canned food drive is much easier than people think and only takes a small amount of pre-planning and organization to get going. Follow these simple steps to insure a successful food drive at your workplace.

Create a Leadership Team and Gather Supplies: First, create a small team of 1-5 people who can help organize, take donations to the NTFB, send out emails and social media announcements, keep collections bins cleared, and track donation amount. Gather large boxes or barrels to collect the donations in and set the dates for your drive. For further co-worker and company participation consider creating departmental teams with prizes awarded to the group who brings in the most donations. Set up rules and guidelines and make sure all participants have a copy of the instructions. (the NTFB will take any canned/boxed/non-perishable food items).

Get The Word Out: If your business is open to the public be sure to have collection boxes in the Lobby or customer waiting areas with a clear list of instructions available. Advertise thru your companies websites or social media sites such as Facebook to spread the word. You can even consider advertising on a local radio station of offering incentives to customers who participate such as “$1 off with a can of food” or prizes for the customer who brings in the most cans or donations.

If your food drive will be company/employee only be sure to send out regular emails and have the teams goals and collections to-date discussed at your weekly meetings. Foster a healthy sense of competition amongst the competing co-workers. Hang up flyers in the break-rooms and smoke break areas around your building.

Go Virtual: One of the NTFB’s most convenient features is the Virtual Food Drive available online. This feature has a ton of added benefits such as: easy to use and manage, eco-friendly and cost effective, every $1 provide 3 meals, online goal trackers, and allows for 100% group participation thru online shopping and team tracking. You can take a virtual tour here to see what it’s all about.

You may also link the virtual canned food drive a donation trackers to you company website allowing for customer to donate directly to the cause thru the computers at home.

Delivery Day: Once the drive comes to a close collect and tally all donations. Be sure to have photo opportunities for the winning teams as they load the supplies and bring the donations to the NTFB. Post photos online so your fellow co-workers and customers can see how much their efforts raised in fighting hunger across North Texas. Finally coordinate the drop-off with the NTFB.

 

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Filed under Danielle Leahy, North Texas Food Bank

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