Why Have a Healthy Food Drive?

Lancaster County has over 52,000 food insecure people – 1 in every 10 individuals.

Over 13 million children live in food-insecure households in the US. Getting proper nutrition is vital for child development and can have a large impact on success and health later in life.

1 in 7 Americans rely on a food pantry. Many food insecure individuals make sacrifices to get by, including buying inexpensive junk food and avoiding healthcare, which can lead to diet-related health problems like diabetes.

Food pantries often receive unhealthy foods like high-sodium soups, chips, and soda. Food pantries may not want to turn away donations or waste free food. Unfortunately, they get donations of almost-expired non-perishable goods, leftovers from people’s cabinets, and unhealthy foods.

Hold a Food Drive in 5 Steps:

1.) Contact Your Local Food Pantry or Central PA Food Bank

Knowing which food pantry to donate to can help you plan your drive. Find your local food bank or plan a healthy food drive for Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

2.) Pick a Point Person

Who is going to run this drive? It is important to pick a person who has the energy and ability to get the job done. This person can also assess if the effort needs more help, which could mean getting volunteers involved.

3.) Pick a Drop-off Location

Where will people go to leave donations? It might be a workplace, a school, a place of worship, or even an event. This is also a good point to think of ways to promote giving: perhaps if someone donates food, they could get into a high school football game for free.

4.) Set a Timeline

When should people drop off donations? Decide when the food drive will be open. Make sure someone is free to set it up and to take the food to the pantry at the end. If you want to hold a multi-day food drive, remember that the food should be taken in each day. Count the food to gauge the success of the food drive after setting a goal. Have the person closing down count the cans and bags each day.

5.) Advertise With Health in Mind

Spread the word as to why food banks need healthy food. Otherwise, people will just continue to bring junk food! Ask them to bring nutritious foods like dry brown rice, oats, canned fish, nuts, dried beans and lentils, canned fruit in juice or water, and canned low-sodium vegetables and beans.

Download the Healthy Food Drive Toolkit