"...at the heart of helping."

Conduct a Food Drive

Thank you for your interest in donating food to help the many hungry families that participate in our Food for Kids Program. Below is a list of tips and tricks that might be helpful as you plan your service activity.

Ideas & Tips for All Groups

  • If you collected anything directly from participants (rather than purchasing from a grocery store), please check the expiration date on every item. We cannot give expired food to our families.
  • Please take pictures of your food drive and share them with us. We can post some on social media, our website etc., which is a great way to thank your participants and inspire others to get involved. 
  • Advertise your event on Facebook and other social media to help attract more potential donors. If it is a large event, then local newspapers may advertise for you as well.
  • If you have a lot of food and have volunteers, please sort and count the food. It’s not essential but it is helpful.
  • No matter how you collected the food, please bring the food to our food pantry (1230 Cravens Ave. Torrance 90501) between 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mon-Fri
  • We will weigh the items and give you a receipt. We will also mail a thank you letter for donations valued more than $250, if you provide us the name and mailing address of the donor(s).
  • Our Food For Kids volunteers here will pack the food for the families and then deliver the completed bags to the participating schools on Fridays.
  • For larger donations, your donors/group can actually make arrangements to come to the Volunteer Center and pack the food you collected into bags for the families. We provide the space and instructions for all the sorting and packing. It’s a blast for adults and children alike.

Ideas & Tips for Businesses and Large Groups

  1. Ask your colleagues to form teams to bring nonperishable food items to a group meeting or place a collection container in a central location. Have competitions to see which team can bring in the most food as a fun team building event.
  2. Put a Food For Kids collection box in your lobby for people to see. We can provide big Food For Kids boxes that are great marketing tools that show your commitment to the local community.
  3. Plan a company-wide “impact” day. Collect or purchase food from the Non-Perishables List. Use our grocery bags or your own and have a blast packing as a group at your facility. You can print out our nutrition flyers and add your logo or information to the insert card so your company/group is recognized for your hard work.

Ideas & Tips for Social and Community Groups

  1. Ask your group leaders (We've found youth leaders do this very well) to work with grocery stores to allow your group to request non-perishable items from shoppers or, ask if the store will ask shoppers to make direct donations to Food For Kids at checkout. We can provide you with an official request letter to give to the store if you need it. On the day of the collection, plan to be there for about 4 to 5 hours. You can coordinate various shifts for the volunteers to split up the collection. We've found two hours shifts per person, work the best for most adult and youth volunteers. The times we've found that yield the best results are:
    • Monday and Friday evenings
    • Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 a.m until 7:00 p.m.

    It's helpful to draw shopper's attention by putting up a booth or table with sample items and info about Food For Kids and your group. Wear your group's logo or school colors and distribute our Nonperishable Food Shopping List to shoppers as the enter the store. You can add your logo to the flyer if you like. Be sure to coordinate volunteers who are able to lift heavy boxes to help you pick up all the food collected during the event.

  2. Throw a big group event to collect food and pack the bags at your venue or ours.
  3. If you are holding an important meeting or a special event consider asking attendees to bring a can of food. For example, if you throw a fashion show, birthday party or fundraiser, charge your normal price for admission, plus one can of unexpired food. Have cans ready to “sell” to attendees who forget.
  4. If you “adopt a week” which is about 120 bags of food (about 1,200 items), you can pack it all at the Volunteer Center. We provide the bags and nutrition inserts. Your group has all the fun.
  5. High schools can hold food drive competitions between classes, grade levels (such as freshman vs. sophomores,) or schools.

Ideas & Tips for Small Groups and Families

  1. You can teach children how to help the local community in a manner that re-enforces your family’s values. For example, every time you take your children grocery shopping, have them pick one item to donate. After you accumulate a box full, bring the children and the box to the Volunteer Center for a tour Mon-Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  2. From family celebrations to yard sales, encourage people to “pay” for items or celebrate by donating cans of food. We've found this is a fun idea, and people appreciate your thoughtfulness

More Information

 Please contact us at 310-212-5009 or volopps@volctr-sobay.org