7 steps for a successful food drive

Step 1

Set a time and date for your food drive. Food drives can be one day only, a week-long, a month-long—whatever you choose! Make sure to let donors know exactly when they can donate. For example, “Food Drive happening February 20th-24th, between the hours of 8AM-4PM each day.”

Step 2

Determine a drop-off site. You’ll want to make sure donors know where to bring the product. For example, “Drop off items in Tina’s office!”

Step 3

Promote the food drive. This could include sending emails, hanging fliers, posting it on your website, using Facebook and Twitter, etc. During this promotion it is also important to let people know what kinds of food to donate.  

The following items are excellent, non-perishable choices for food drives:

  • Canned fish-tuna, salmon, sardines, etc.
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal-all varieties
  • Canned fruits-all varieties
  • Canned vegetables-all varieties
  • Canned meat-beef, pork, chicken, etc.
  • Canned soups and chili
  • Boxed meals-Macaroni & Cheese, Hamburger Helper, etc.
  • Pasta and pasta sauce-all varieties
  • Diapers-All sizes
  • Pet food-all varieties

Step 4

Set up donation boxes at drop-off site. You’ll want to have plenty of boxes setup with a sign on each to let people know who the food drive is benefiting. Check on these boxes often to see if you need more. When a box is full, put it in a safe place until the food drive is over.

Step 5

Call your beneficiaries to arrange a drop-off. Call your local CVOEO food shelf to inform us that you have collected food on our behalf, and ask when you can drop off the items.

Step 6

Drop off your items and get them weighed. When you drop off the product, we will tell you how many pounds you “raised.” You can also pick up a tax deduction form at this time.

Step 7

Share the results! Let your donors know that the food drive was a success. Call local press and pitch the story of your food drive, ask them to come by and take a photo for the newspaper, send a letter to the editor, post a note at the site of the food drive. Brag about it on your Website, Facebook, Twitter! This will help donors feel like their donation made a difference, and they will be more likely to donate again in the future.

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CVOEO addresses fundamental issues of economic, social, environmental, and racial justice and works with people to achieve economic independence.


Serving more than 10,000 households annually,
impacting the lives of over 23,000 individuals