Thanksgiving Ideas: Thanksgiving Food Drive
Collect food for the needy (before you stuff your face)!
- Food Drive captain:Your kid.
- Donation makers:Your kid's friends, your kid's friend's friends, your friends, your neighbors, your kid's teachers, relatives—basically anyone and everyone your kid knows!
- A Collection barrel or box:To collect the food in.
- Poster board and markers or a momputer:To make posters to advertise the food drive.
- Canned goods:Food, glorious food!
- Collection site:A post office, bank or school.
- Help your child contact a food bank to donate to: America's Second Harvest is a national network of food banks with locations in all 50 states. They are the largest hunger-relief charity in the country and distribute more than two billion pounds of donated food and groceries a year to over 25 million Americans, including nine million hungry children. To donate the goods from your kid's food drive directly to them, contact your local branch.
- Most states have a food bank. To locate your state's, go to Google's awesome online directory. (Still kicking yourself for not buying Google stock, aren't ya?)
- Once she's found a food bank, have your kid pick out a collection box. Any old box—cardboard or plastic—will do. Some food banks will give you specific barrels to use to collect the food in.
- Next, help your kid make a legible, eye-catching sign for her collection box. She can create a sign with markers and a big piece of poster board, or make one on the computer and head over to a print shop to print it out. Some food banks may supply signage as well. She should indicate on the sign what kind of food she is looking for (canned, non-perishable items) so that in a week she doesn't end up with a boxful of moldy bread! Food banks are in particular need of: meals in a can, like chili, soup, stew; canned tuna; canned meat (like Spam, but not the inbox kind!); peanut butter; low-sugar cereals; canned fruits and low-salt veggies; 100% fruit juice boxes. When she's all set to go, have your kid decide where she'd like to put her collection box. The library, post office, bank or the cafeteria at her school are all good choices. Have her position the containers in high-traffic areas (like your family's bathroom at 8 AM).
- Next, help her attach the sign.
- Drop the box off at the chosen location. Make sure she asks for permission before placing the box.
- She should then advertise her food drive. Tell all her friends and neighbors, hand out fliers (print 'em out on the computer). Make sure she lets everyone know the dates of the drive so well-intentioned people don't miss the opportunity to donate.
- Wait a week or so (have your kid decide on a time frame) before returning to the box.
- Bring your kid to pick up the box——which is hopefully overflowing with canned goods—when the drive is over.
- Drop the food off at a food bank.
- When your family enjoys their Thanksgiving dinner this year, in addition to having something other than tight pants to remember Thanksgiving by, your kid will be happy knowing she's helped other children and families pig out!
- Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas that give back? Host a Food Drive Party! Have your kid invite over friends and neighbors for a little shindig and ask them to bring along a can (or 10) of non-perishable food. Then help you kid drop the donations off.