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How to Organize a Neighborhood Halloween Food Drive

Published by Jackson Majercin

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All over the news, food banks send a desperate cry for help. With the slumping economy the food banks needs have risen ten fold–and their shelves are empty. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, the food banks worry their needs may rise even more and they won’t have the resources to assist those who need it. Get started early by organizing a Neighborhood Halloween Food Drive. Here are some simple tips to getting started:


Organize a group of people in your neighborhood who are interested in helping with the cause. The first thing to do is to call the food bank and see what there needs are, if they have any restrictions on the type of food they accept, and if someone might be available to arrange a late night drop off. Get older children, teens or college students to assist with collecting the food on Halloween night. You will need someone to set up signs and pass out flyer’s to the areas you will be targeting. Consider passing out flyer’s to individual houses, posting signs on light poles if allowed, or putting several yard signs at corner houses or higher traffic areas around the neighborhood. You will need vehicles (preferably those with trucks or SUV’s or attached trailers) to follow the food drive collectors on Halloween night and collect their pillowcases or boxes full of food when they become too heavy. They will also need to take the food down to the food bank following the food drive. You will need older children, teens, or college students to help collect the cans from house to house. Have maps drawn up of their specific neighborhood areas they need to cover and collect from. It will be best if you only collect from each house once. Have them dress in costumes with pillowcases, boxes, or a wagon to collect food. Have them ring the doorbell and greet each person at the door, clearly stating that they are there to collect food for the Halloween Food Drive. Since they will be collecting from older people who may be hard of hearing, masks will make it hard for someone to hear what they are trying to say.


On Halloween night, have those participating meet at least a half an hour before you begin the food drive to ready trailers, go over last minute tips, and go over any safety issues. Then head on out. Go over each groups designated collection area. You will need at least one group of two or more people to be on foot collecting the food, and at least one person driving the truck or SUV around from house to house behind the collectors. When their pillowcase, box, or wagon becomes too full, they will need to be able to run over to the vehicle, dump the food into the vehicle, and then head back out.


At the end of the night, meet back at your starting point. Take a picture of the trick or treaters and all the food that was collected. Blow up the pictures and put them on the yard signs, thanking your neighbors for helping out. When your neighbors who participated (and those who may not have) see the amounts that were collected it will lend to the credibility of what you were doing and motivate neighbors to want to give again.



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