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Host a Food Drive

How to host a food drive

Thank you for your interest in helping Manna. When you host a food drive you will enable our neighbors experiencing hunger to get the food they urgently need. Together we can fight hunger and feed hope!  Follow these easy steps for a successful, healthy drive.

  1. Decide when you’d like to hold your drive. Although the holidays are a popular time of year, food is needed year-round. Consider holding a drive in the spring or summer when supply is especially low. Hosting a themed food drive, such as a kid-friendly collection to benefit Smart Sacks for back-to-school time or a cereal food drive is a great idea.
  1. Decide how long to hold your food drive. Will it be one day, a week, or a month? Or perhaps this is an ongoing effort? It’s entirely up to you.
  1. Do you want to collect food and/or money? We need both! Ninety-four cents of every dollar that is donated to Manna goes directly into programs that provide food for those less fortunate. If you want to collect donations, the easiest way is to….
  1. Create a donation collection container for your group to use to collect money donations.
  1. Create posters to advertise your food drive. Be sure to include all the important details: date, time, drop off location and that the food drive will benefit Manna Food Center. You can also let people know about your food drive through email, list serves, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  1. Distribute a preferred food list for people to donate. Manna’s wish list of food items can be found here.
  1. Host your food drive and give it plenty of support.
  • Email your co-workers, friends and neighbors to rally support.
  • Contact the local papers to let them know about your food drive.
  • Put it in local newsletters, bulletins and websites to rally support.
  • Set a goal and monitor the progress.
  1. If you collect a large amount of food (more than a minivan will hold) we may be able to arrange for one of our trucks to pick up the donated food. Simply call us at (301) 424-1130. Please note that we need several days’ lead time – or even a couple of weeks during busy times — in order to pick up your donation.
  1. If you’re dropping off the food, you deserve extra thanks. You’ve saved us additional expenses that we can redirect towards serving our participants. Food can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm at:

Manna Food Center
9311 Gaither Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(301) 424-1130  |  info@mannafood.org

Just ½ mile off of Shady Grove Road

  1. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Your efforts will make a big difference helping feed those less fortunate in our community. Please send us photos and highlights so we can share on Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for some ways to bring some excitement to your food or fund drive!  Click here and check out a few ideas.

Food and Fund Drive Ideas

Food Drive Ideas

Looking for some ways to bring some excitement to your food or fund drive?  Check out the list below.

  • Schedule a fun kick-off event to create interest in the food drive. For example, hold an office party in which admission is a food or cash donation to the drive.
  • Hold a raffle in which a food or cash donation to the drive buys a raffle ticket. Give away some creative incentives.
  • Have food assigned to a specific day:  Macaroni Monday, Tuna Tuesday, Wheaties Wednesday, Turkey Thursday, Fruity Friday.  Let participants know ahead of time.
  • Do lunch time/lunch room games. Build a canned castle, a cereal maze, etc. from food collected by employees.
  • A tisket, a tasket. Everyone brings a food item to work and drops it off at the door of a co-worker with a note, “this is my food drive donation in honor of you”. The worker puts the donation in the bin and posts the note on the bulletin board. See how filled up the board gets.
  • Guess what’s in the food box contest. A box of groceries in placed in a convenient location. Folks that brought in a food donation are able to guess what’s in the box. Whoever guesses the most items wins. Winner gets a prize – could be something big or just something goofy.
  • MEAT the Need – canned meat drive.
  • Make Every BEAN COUNT – canned or dried beans drive.
  • Fruity Fines – For one day or several, the school library allows students to “pay fines” with canned fruit or other food items.
  • Winter’s Coming Drive – Donations consist of “winter” items like stew, chili, beans
  • Hold a contest between departments, classes, troops, etc. to see who can raise the most. Offer incentives for those who contribute the most to your drive.

Fund Drive Ideas

  • Denim Days are one of the easiest and most effective ways to raise money in workplaces. Employees can pay $5 to dress down for a day. Give every employee who participates a sticker, so they can show their support. Place a sign in the reception area announcing the Denim Day to alert clients and visitors of why employees are dressed down. Appointing a few employees per floor/section to help with the collection of money is a great way to make the employee campaign manager’s job easier!
  • Appreciation grams are sent to co-workers in the office on an ordinary day or in connection with a holiday such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, May Day, etc. Appreciation grams consist of little notes with words of thanks, recognition, or good wishes. Along with the note, include a bag of candy, a Mylar balloon or flowers. Some examples include: jelly beans for Easter, Hershey Hugs for Valentine’s Day, pet rocks for a 70s theme, candy corn for Halloween. Take pre-orders for one week in the break-room. Write down the names of the sender and receiver so they can be delivered at a later date. Notes can be computer printed generic messages, or at time of purchase, purchaser can hand write a note of appreciation.
  • We all have at least one embarrassing baby picture buried in our photo albums. Display baby pictures of each employee and have a contest to see who can guess who the babies are! Sell guess sheets for $5.