Why hold a Food Drive?
Increasingly, the face of hunger in Connecticut is someone we know. But you can help ease the pain of hunger by running a food drive in your company, organization, or school. A food drive is an easy and rewarding project for any size business or group to undertake - and everyone can participate.
Your first task at hand is to select a date. It may be over several days or weeks. Keep in mind that food is always needed by the agencies served through the Food Center, not just during the holiday season. Consider running a food drive during the summer or late winter when food donations are typically slow but demand is still high.
Notify the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center at 860.444.8050 to let them know about your drive. The staff will be able to assist you in your planning, and they can provide an up-to-date listing of the most-needed food items. You might consider limiting your drive to collect 3-5 specific items that are most critically needed at that time. You should also inform the Food Center of when your drive will be concluding so they know when to expect the delivery.
Publicize your food drive at least two weeks in advance. Signs and fliers should list the date(s) of the drive, where the food will go, what types of food are needed, and where the collection boxes are located. Post signs in well-traveled areas of your building(s). Lobbies, cafeterias, mailrooms, and coffee areas are good locations. Notices can also be placed in employee mailboxes and via emails to all staff.
After the drive is over, don't forget to thank people for donating and let them know how much food was collected. The Food Center can let you know the weight and its equivalent in meals.
Types of Food to Collect
Ask people to donate canned and dry goods in the following categories: tuna, meats, stew, vegetables, fruits, pasta, rice, instant potatoes, dried beans, and peanut butter. Baby food is also always needed. Be sure to ask the Food Center staff if there are additional food items that are most in need at the time of your drive as supplies may be lower in a particular category.
How to Collect the Food
Whether your food drive is an in-house event or one in which the public will participate, collection sites should be convenient and highly visible. Lobbies, cafeterias, and other well-traveled locations are excellent spots to collect the food.
Use boxes, not bags or barrels, to collect the food. Bags create too much breakage and barrels are too difficult to transport.
How to Handle the Food After it is Collected
Whether or not you can deliver the food yourself, call the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center at 860.444.8050.
If you are able to deliver the collection, please bring it directly to the Food Center located at 374 Broad Street in New London. Food Center hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
If you need your collection picked up, the Food Center staff would be happy to make the arrangements.
Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center
374 Broad Street
New London CT 06320