Written by: Kate Snyder, Development and Donor Communications Coordinator
Sometimes the idea of hosting a food drive can be overwhelming. You want to help out, but where to begin? What food is needed? How will you get people to participate?
Happily, it really isn't too hard. To get you started, here's an overview of how the 3rd - 5th grade Sunday school class from First Unitarian Church (a member of EECM's Council of Congregations) organized their Have a Heart for Hunger Food Drive.
Step 1 -- Pick a time frame
Will your food drive be an ongoing project or limited to a specific time frame? My experience has been that having a limited amount of time helps people stay focused. The First Unitarian youth group organized their Food Drive to coincide with the dates of EECM's Have a Heart for Hunger campaign -- February 14th through the end of March. Another congregation does an annual Lenten food drive. Any dates will work!
Step 2 -- Pick a food theme
What do you want people to collect? EECM accepts donations of all non-perishable food items, but there are some that we particularly need. The First Unitarian kids focused on EECM's Food of the Month items, including canned tuna, dry pasta, and peanut butter.
Step 3 -- Pick a collection method
How will people bring in their food? Will you have a basket on your front porch? A box at the back of your congregation? A table set up in the narthex? First Unitarian had a great idea. They printed up a bright pink flier explaining the drive and stapled them to paper grocery bags (donated by a local grocery store - they're often willing to help out. Just ask!). There were instructions printed right on the flier as to where the bags could be dropped off.
Step 4-- Publicize
Spread the word. The First Unitarian Church distributed the bags to congregation members.
Step 5 -- Deliver!
Food can be brought to the EECM Food Pantry (inside East Liberty Presbyterian Church) Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm. If you have a LOT of food, we can also come and pick it up! Just give us a call: 412.361.5549.
And there you have it. A food drive! You can find more Family Friendly Food Drive Favorites on the EECM website.