AFAC needs your help to serve more than 2,200 families every week, year-round. Consider holding a food drive with your school, work, or community organization to collect food donations. Choose from the following ideas or come up with your own!
Share the Love: January & February
Help AFAC collect heart-healthy non-perishable foods. Items like low-sodium soups, vegetables, and proteins (tuna, salmon, chicken, beans) will keep our families and senior clients eating warm meals throughout the winter months! To download a customizable flyer template, click here.
Grocery Store Food Drive
Grocery store food drives are a terrific way to spend the afternoon with your family, friends, or colleagues and a great way to collect a lot of food in a short amount of time! This is also a great way for students to log volunteer hours.
You'll need to ask the manager at your local grocery store if they'll allow you to collect food donations outside their storefront on a Saturday or Sunday. Then, create and print flyers that list the foods AFAC needs most For flyer templates, click here. Collect donations in an AFAC food drive box and deliver the collected food to AFAC. For food drop-off hours, click here.
For more information about grocery store food drives, click here.
Neighborhood Food Drive
This is a great format for teens and families! This is also a great way for students to log volunteer hours.
Flyers can be distributed door-to-door in your neighborhood providing your neighbors with information about AFAC and requesting that they leave food donations on their doorstep by a certain time and day. You can download our flyer template into Word and customize it to fit your drive. It's best to give your neighbors a week to collect donations from home or the grocery store. On the pick-up day, you can go door-to-door throughout your neighborhood, picking up the bagged donations from their doorsteps. You can deliver the collected food to AFAC Monday - Friday, 8:30-4:30 or Saturday, 9-1.
Cereal Food Drive
Cereal is a constant need here at AFAC. Whether in school or on holiday vacation, kids and families need a balanced breakfast to help them stay focused and full all day long. Consider collecting low-sugar cereal (think Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Grape-Nuts, etc.) from your community to provide Arlington families and kids with healthy breakfasts. Cereal collection is a great activity for a school-wide food drive!
Challenges and Competitions
Organize a contest between offices/divisions/classrooms/grades. The winner is the team with the most number of items collected - each group can collect a different item or a variety of items.
Alternatively, the winner could be the group with the biggest or best CAN-struction design. Each team must design and build a sculpture using only canned goods.
Be sure to take photos and a count of the items before they're donated as collections from all teams will be weighed together once they arrive at AFAC.
Birthday Givers Project
AFAC’s Birthday Givers Project lets parents teach young children the value of helping others by actively participating.
Around the time of your child’s birthday, explain that as part of the celebration, you both will be making a special gift together by accepting food donations in lieu of birthday presents. Let them know that AFAC feeds hungry people and that over 30% of the clients AFAC feeds are children. Click here to find out more!
Events & Marathons
Consider charging "food admissions" for an event, party, or school production. The admission price is a certain number of food items; for example, 3 cans or 1 box of cereal. You can ask your community to sponsor miles, laps, or hours as part of a marathon, swim-a-thon, or dance-a-thon.
Feds Feed Families: June 1 - August 30.
Every summer, the USDA spearheads the Feds Feed Families campaign, encouraging all Federal agencies, including field components, to collect fresh produce and non-perishable food donations for food pantries nationwide. If you're in the Arlington area, consider bringing your Feds Feed Families donations to AFAC!
Simply register your food drive online and AFAC drivers will deliver boxes to your office. Customize your own flyer listing the foods we need most and asking your colleagues to bring food in by August 30. At the end of the drive, AFAC drivers can pick up the food or you can deliver it to the warehouse at 2706 S. Nelson St, Arlington, 22206 for a glimpse of where the food will be served. Late donations are happily accepted after August 30.
For more information or to schedule your drop-off and tour, please contact Lily Duran at email@example.com.
Hunger Action Month: September
Help spread awareness about food insecurity in Arlington during the month of September while collecting donations for your neighbors in need. Canvas your neighborhood and rally your teammates, together we can put an end to hunger! To learn how you can participate in Hunger Action Month 2017, click here.
Holiday Food Drive: November 1 - January 5
AFAC experiences its highest number of family visits during the months of November and December. This is a great time of year for offices, apartment buildings, and community groups to rally together to collect food for AFAC.
The holiday season is AFAC's busiest time of the year. We encourage you to pick up food drive boxes and deliver your food collection to AFAC's warehouse at 2706 S. Nelson St, Arlington, 22206 and get a glimpse of where the food will be served. If you need a delivery or pickup, please note it on your registration form and an AFAC volunteer driver will deliver food drive boxes and/or pick up food donations. Once you register your food drive please allow 3 business days for food drive box delivery or pickup. Drop-offs are best between 1-4 PM, Monday - Friday; please contact Lily Duran at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your visit.
Please note that AFAC will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day, with limited staff the days before and after those holidays. If you'd like your food collection to be on the shelves by Thanksgiving or Christmas, please plan to deliver your donation 1 week prior to allow for sorting and stocking. Thank you for helping Arlington families to enjoy a warm meal with family this holiday season.
Emergency Food Kits (EFK)*
*AFAC is currently at capacity for Emergency Food Kits. Please consider holding a grocery store or neighborhood food drive this holiday season. Check this website to see when more EFKs are needed.
Emergency Food Kits (EFK) are given to clients with immediate needs by Arlington County social workers. Each EFK will supply one day’s worth of food for two people. Groups will purchase the food and package the kits in their own meeting space. AFAC will provide you with specific bags to make Emergency Food Kits. Click here for instructions and please be sure to register your EFK drive online or contact Lily Duran at email@example.com.