Food Drive Ideas

Corporate Punishment

Have a week-long canned food collection, where every can sentence the teacher or principal to one minute in detention, time out, or a fake jail. This can sometimes be successful enough to land the principal in detention for several hours, so be sure they can make a time commitment that day!

Donate Your Weight

Find the total weight of the kids in your classroom (or management staff at your office), and use this number to set the poundage goal for your food drive. Bring everyone in to the foodbank for a tour, and they can all be weighed at once on our warehouse scales – kids love this! Call 304-523-6029 and ask to set up a warehouse tour.

Neighborhood Pantry Cleanout

Decorate paper grocery bags and hand them out to neighbors on your street. Explain the goal of your food drive and ask them to clean out their cupboards this week of anything they are willing to donate; leave a letter with the bag if they are not home. Collect the bags promptly as promised, but prepare to bring your car or bike for the pickup – canned food is heavy!

Skip A Meal

Encourage staff or members to skip lunch or dinner once this week, and donate what they would have spent to the Fund Drive. Going without for one meal is also a great way to help those who participate appreciate the importance of foodbanks to hungry families.

Fine Free Days

This fundraiser was especially successful at Marshall University’s Drinko Library: 1 can = $1 off library fines. This could also work for parking fees, etc.

Price of Admission

Host an event, game night or movie, and charge an admission price of 1 can of food. If this is a large event, give a prize for the biggest donation.


Trade canned food for tickets, and raffle off prime parking spaces, casual-dress days, Sneak-Out-Early passes, extra recess time, etc.


Encourage giving in honor or in memory of a loved one.

Food Fight

Collaborate with your school’s rival and have a competition to see which school can collect the most cans. Track progress daily to keep momentum in the Food Drive and keep the competition going. Give a prize for the child who donates the most at one time, the one who donates the most during the whole drive, the Food Drive MVP (this might be a teacher), and be sure to recognize your volunteers. This can also work between business rivals or sports teams!

Penny War

Create competition between classes/ grades/ departments with a Penny War. Label large jars or milk jugs with a team’s name so that it is clear where to drop donations. The twist: The only coins that count toward a team’s total are the pennies and the rest subtract! Sabotage your opponent by putting dollars or silver coins in their jars – kids love this. Keep track of which team is in the lead at the end of each day, and have an incentive for the winner.

Themed Days

Designate certain days during your drive for specific types of food collection (i.e. Tuna Tuesday). Being specific helps participants know what foods are good items to bring and increases variety.

Double Your Donation

Ask if your organization or business will match what your Food or Fund drive collects. They could pledge to match cash donations or to give $1 per can or pound of food.

Volunteer Opportunities

Facing Hunger welcomes individuals and groups to work on a variety of tasks related to our mission of leading the effort to eliminate hunger.

Join our team of Hunger Heroes today!

Mobile Pantry Volunteer

Go with us into the communities we serve and distribute food to families in need. 

Pack a Backpack

Pack up assorted food and drinks that will be given to kids in the community who struggle with hunger over the weekend.

Warehouse Volunteer

Sort and pack food in our warehouse. 

Spread the Word

Tell your friends and family about Facing Hunger and encourage them to be part of the team.

Most Needed Items

Suggested Day to Day Items

  • Canned fruits and vegetables (with pop tops)
  • Canned or shelf stable packages of meats (chicken, tuna, salmon)
  • Canned soups (with pop tops)
  • Chili
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Tomato pasta sauce
  • Boxed helper meals
  • Peanut butter
  • Dry beans (pinto, navy)
  • Dry cereals
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Shelf-stable milk
  • Bottled water

Suggested BackPack Program Items

Entree Related Items:

  • Pop-Top Ravioli/Nutritious Soups
  • Assorted Flavor Instant Oatmeal
  • Single Serving Mac & Cheese
  • Single Serving Fruit/Vegetable Cups
  • Single Serving Cereal
  • Hormel “Compleats” Shelf Stable Entrees

Snack Related items:

  • Single Serving Gummy Fruit Snacks
  • Single Serving Fruit Cups
  • Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
  • Single Serving Cups of Peanut Butter

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