Our pantry distributes food to nearly 600 people each week, and we depend on donations from the community to help us do that. Consider organizing a food drive in your neighborhood, school, or place of business. It is a great way to get involved and have a large impact on our pantry.
A food drive can be very easy - collect food and then bring to Pantry - or it can be made into a fun community event! If you wish to organize a Food Drive of any size, please feel free to contact our Food Drive Coordinator, who will be happy to provide guidance and resources to assist your efforts.
Ready to organize a food drive?
Here are some tips to help!
Recent Food Drives
Thank you to the entire community for coming together to support the pantry with "touchless" food drives and donations during this critical time. We are unable to keep up with individual thank you notes*, but please know that we are grateful for your generosity!
*If you require a record for tax purposes,
please contact us directly
Preparing and Running a Food Drive
Recruit help! A successful food drive often depends on those who organize it, so be sure to enlist the help of people who are dedicated, enthusiastic and good at motivating others.
Select specific dates and locations! Determine what time frame would be most effective in maximizing participation: a day, a week, or a month. Then decide where your event will take place.
Set a goal! Having a target can help build momentum. Goals with numbers of items ("Let's collect 100 packs of diapers!"), or weight of food ("105 pounds of food can feed a family of four for one week!") are great places to start.
Pick a theme! It is often easier for those donating if there are guidelines and can be a fun way to encourage your specific community. Our most critical needs change throughout the year, depending on what we receive from the Greater Boston Food Bank or other local drives. Check out current food needs here to see if we are in need of anything specific, and you may consider theming your drive around those! Some other theme ideas are:
Collect items for a certain meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner
Fill the principal’s/president’s/boss’s office
Souper Bowl Sunday
Heart Healthy – February
March Madness Bracket
Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation – summer
Scare Away Hunger - Halloween
Choose a country - Italy, Mexico, China etc.
Create a “Most Wanted” poster
Build a food sculpture
Promote! Promote your event early and often. Display posters in highly visible locations. Send out e-mails, text messages and voice mails. Include reminders in newsletters or on your website or social media. If you let us know about your drive beforehand, we can help promote on our website or Facebook page, too!
Make it easy to donate! Put collection boxes and contribution canisters in high-traffic, easily accessible locations. If your facility is large, consider having more than one drop-off point. The more visible and accessible your food drive is, the easier it will be for people to donate.
The drive is over - now what?
Sort the donations! Sorting the donations is incredibly helpful to us! Sorting food by type (cereals, pasta, canned vegetables, etc) will help us when shelving the donations at the pantry. It is also extremely helpful if you can check expiration/best before dates while sorting, as well as checking that there are no expired or open foods in the donation boxes.
Pack it up! Pack up your donations for delivery or pick up. If you do not use Food Bank collection boxes, pack your donated food into sturdy boxes that aren’t too heavy and securely tape the bottoms.
Plan pick-up/drop off! Contact Megan Bartle, Co-Pantry Director, to schedule a time for your donation to get to the pantry. If you are dropping off your donations, we can make sure we have enough volunteers to sort and shelve everything you've collected. If you need us to pick up your donations, it's helpful for us to know how many bags/boxes you've collected so we can make sure we send a vehicle with enough space. Please be sure to gather it into one accessible location.
Help us shelve! Not ready to let go of the fun of your food drive? Consider helping us sort and shelve your collection at the pantry. Some people really enjoy seeing this final step of the drive, and we appreciate the help!
Celebrate your success! Take photos of your crew working on your food drive or the items you've collected and share the results with everyone. Email your photos to the pantry so we can help share your success and encourage others to run their own food drives!