Food Drive Ideas

Food banks and pantries rely on donations to help keep up with need in their communities. Individuals can make a difference when they donate food or funds, hold a food drive or volunteer at their local food pantry.

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How big of a problem is hunger in the United States? Unfortunately, the facts and figures of hunger in America are startling:


  • 1 in 7 Americans have sought food assistance1
  • 46.5 million Americans, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, utilize a food bank1
  • 69% of Feeding America client households have had to choose between food and utilities1
  • More than 20% - 1 in 5 - children live at risk of hunger2
  • 1 in 8 American households receives benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)3

YouGiveGoods has introduced a new way to raise food with our free, online drive service. Our online drives break the geographic barriers of a traditional collection box drive - now friends and family all over the country can donate food to support your drive. And since YouGiveGoods handles all the logistics for both the drive organizers and donors, it is easier than ever to help. Why not start a YouGiveGoods food drive to support your local food pantry or food bank today? Individuals, companies, groups and schools can make a real difference in their communities. See how St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, PA raised almost 13,000 items to create holiday food baskets for families in their local communities for Thanksgiving.


Acts of generosity and the kindness of strangers helps feed those struggling to put food on the table every day. You can make a difference in the lives of the hidden hungry in your community by holding a food drive.

Tips for holding a successful food drive


  • 1) Set clear goals. Choose a number of items and shoot for it. Share updates with your supporters frequently and ask them to help you reach (or exceed) your goal.
  • 2) Collect most-needed items. Ask for specific goods such as peanut butter, pasta, or canned fruits. The less your supporters have to think and work, the better. YouGiveGoods populates your online drive with most-needed items for you.
  • 3) Use social media to spread the word. Make it personal. Tell your story, share your goals and ask for support. Ask friends and supporters to share your drive posts with their own online communities. Social media can be an extremely powerful tool especially when paired with a quick and easy link to your YouGiveGoods online drive. Click here for more ideas on using social media to promote your YouGiveGoods drive.
  • 4) Make it accessible. Set up multiple drop off locations and include the YouGiveGoods online shopping option. The easier it is for people to donate, the more likely they will be to take action.
  • 5) Make it fun. Hold contests between grades, groups, departments, etc… Friendly competition can really boost donations! See how 13 departments of CIT New York used a YouGiveGoods challenge drive for some friendly competition to collectively raise almost 14,000 items for the Food Bank of New York City.
  • 6) Offer incentives. A simple award certificate or just a social media mention can be great incentives.
  • 7) Say thank you. Make sure donors receive a thank you for their generosity. Email and social media make it easy to say thank you.
  • 8) Give yourself a pat on the back. Once your drive is completed take a moment to reflect on your accomplishment. Reflect on the experience, both good and bad and make an action plan for your next drive to be even bigger, better and smoother.

A simple way to lend your support is to donate to an existing YouGiveGoods food drive. With the click of a button you can donate food to a food pantry and help a person in need.

Remember that with a simple act you can be part of the renewal of a struggling family by offering your support to a food bank today.

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