AFAC needs your help to serve more than 2,300 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!
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 who need to log volunteer hours.
First, 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 AFAC's most-needed foods using our flyer templates. Collect donations in an AFAC food drive box and deliver the collected food to AFAC during food drop-off hours.
Neighborhood Food Drive
This is a great activity for teens and families! This is also a great way for students who need 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 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, etc. The winner is the team with the most number of items collected - each group can collect a different item or a variety of items.
Be sure to take photos and a count of the items before they're donated as collections from all teams will be co-mingled and 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, your family will make a special gift together by accepting food donations in lieu of birthday presents. Let your children know that AFAC feeds hungry people in your neighborhood and that over 30% of the individuals AFAC feeds are children.
Events & Marathons
Consider charging "food admissions" for an event, party, or school production. The admission price for the event 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.
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 and heart-healthy meals throughout the winter months! Create flyers that list AFAC's most-needed foods using our flyer templates.
Emergency Food Kits (EFK)
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. Your group would purchase the food and package the kits in your own meeting space. AFAC will provide you with specific bags to assemble the Emergency Food Kits. Use the EFK instructions and please be sure to register your EFK drive online or contact 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! See details for Hunger Action Month 2018.
Feds Feed Families: July 15 - October 18.
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 October 18. At the end of the collection, you can deliver the food to the warehouse at 2708 S. Nelson St, Arlington, 22206 for a glimpse of where the food will be served or AFAC drivers can pick it up from your office. Late donations are happily accepted after October 18.
If you're hoping to recognize the office or team that collected the most food, be sure to take photos and count the items before they're donated. Upon arrival at AFAC, donations from all teams will be weighed and recorded together. Food donations must be weighed in at AFAC before a receipt of donation may be issued. For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Lily Duran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday Food Drive: November 1 - January 3
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 2708 S. Nelson St, Arlington, 22206 and get a glimpse of where the food will be served. Drop-offs are best between 1-4 PM, Monday - Friday. Please contact Lily Duran at email@example.com to schedule your visit. If you require 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. Please allow 3 business days between registration and box delivery or pickup.
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 would like your food donations to be on the shelves by Thanksgiving or Christmas, please plan to deliver your donation one week prior to allow for sorting and stocking. Thank you for helping Arlington families enjoy a warm meal this holiday season.
If you're interested in volunteering as a driver for the holidays, delivering food drive boxes and picking up food collections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Make it a Day-ON, not a Day-OFF! Consider taking part in the National Day of Service to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by collecting food donations from your neighbors, faith community, school, or local supermarket! You can pick up food drive boxes from AFAC in advance and customize your own flyer. Donations will be accepted at AFAC on Tuesday, January 21, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.