How to Run a Food Collection Drive in Your School

Text iParticipate to 30644

Get volunteer opportunities in your area texted to your mobile phone 2x a month!

Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Reply STOP to opt-out. Reply HELP or contact webmaster@eifoundation.org for help.

  1. Get the all clear: You don’t want to get on your principal’s bad side so first make sure that h/she is okay with this sort of thing. And while you’re on approval mode, find a local food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter that will accept these food donations & get a list of food items they need.
  2. Get your teachers on board: Have the teachers promise to do something crazy (like crawl to work or sleep on the roof) & watch the cans pile up. The hope of punishing a teacher has a way of inspiring people.
  3. Get your peeps on board: You don’t want to do this alone so recruit all your homies to help you out. Pull the guilt trip and/or friendship card if you have to - hey, it’s for a good cause!
  4. Spread the word: You need to market your drive! Make posters and flyers ahead of time giving people the details! Include facts about hunger and even some images … plucking at the heart strings works!
  5. Get attention: Use your creative noggin to decorate the boxes/barrels. You can even put it on t-shirts, pants, whatever! The more people know, the more food you’ll probably get.
  6. Use your lungs: Ask if you can make an announcement over the PA system, during morning announcements or homeroom. Or use your big mouth during lunch or in between periods and shout out the cause.
  7. Make it Easy: People are more likely to help if they don’t have to do much work, so offer to pick up the cans at their house or set up a food collection bin in the front of your school or in the lunchroom. As a matter of fact, DO IT ALL!
  8. Show off the goods: Display the cans you’ve gotten to get other teens into the mix. Create a chart giving a daily or weekly tally of cans collected.
  9. Close down: Officially close the drive by posting the number of food items you collected in the main lobby or lunchroom and give special thanks to everyone who chipped in.
  10. Now that you’ve got the Goods: Donate the food you’ve collected to a local pantry or shelter. You probably want to select the benefiting organization before you even start your drive. That way you can get a list of food items they really need and whatever restrictions or specific instructions they have regarding donated items. For example, some pantries don’t except food in glass containers.
  11. Drive Ideas: Can’t think of anything off the chain to raise food? Check out our list of 11 Ideas for a Food Collection Drive.


Find more awesome ways to get involved with action guides, volunteer opportunities, and causes at DoSomething.org