How to Create a Zero-Contact Neighborhood Food Drive

A family volunteering opportunity

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neighborhood food drive

Last Sunday afternoon our family had a conversation about how we wished we could do more for others in need during this time. But the stay-at-home orders in place created a bigger than normal challenge of volunteering.

How can we help others while still keeping everyone safe?

Sitting around our living room coffee table amongst toys and tablets, we came up with this safe, simple, and fun idea to help the hungry in our city.

We would love for you to copy it in your own neighborhood with your family!

Driveway Food Drive

Our family shared our idea in our neighborhood facebook group. We encouraged our neighbors to leave a bag of non-perishable food items at the end of their driveways. We would then circle the blocks, pick it up, and deliver it to the Great Plains Food Bank.

Our food drive quickly caught attention and became a rousing success with over 70 homes participating!

Here’s how we did it:

Step 1:

CHOOSE a date and time for your food drive.

TIP #1: Early afternoon pick up times allow people to leave their bags out over their lunch hour. (And your kids may take an afternoon nap in their carseat during pick up!)

TIP #2: Take a look at the weather for that week to make sure the date you choose isn’t windy or rainy.

Step 2:

SHARE a family pic with the food drive information on your neighborhood communication site (Facebook page, NextDoor app, notes in mailboxes, text thread, etc.). 

Here is an example of what our family posted if you’d like some inspiration:

Step 3:

DRIVE through your neighborhood collecting the bags at the end of the driveways. 

TIP #1: Grab some large boxes to set the bag in. It helps keep items organized and makes it easier to unload.

TIP#2: Wear masks and gloves to keep yourself extra safe.

Step 4:

DELIVER non-perishable food items to your local food bank.

Our small north Fargo neighborhood collected over 420 items of food!

TIP: Call ahead to your place of delivery to find out what specific drop-off protocol they have in place and to give them some lead time to get prepared for your delivery.

Here are a list of locations in the Fargo-Moorhead area that may be accepting food drive donations (again, call ahead to ensure delivery and protocol).

What our family loved about this volunteer opportunity:

  • Zero contact, so everyone stayed safe.
  • It took less than 2 hours to coordinate, collect, and deliver over 420 food items!
  • It brought our neighborhood together and filled everyone with joy and gratitude. We got lots of waves and “thank yous” as we drove, and boosted everyone’s spirits!
  • We got to do it as a family. Dad drove, mom picked up, kids brought clip boards and tallied food items. (That counts as a homeschooling math lesson, right?)
  • It is easily duplicated! Already other communities in North Dakota such as Devils Lake, Osgood, and Beulah have created their own Driveway Food Drives as well as multiple neighborhoods in our Fargo-Moorhead area! 

Donations are down at food banks across our nation, yet the need for food from these banks is greater than ever. 

I am so proud of our neighborhood and many others for stepping up to the plate to help those in need.

Many things may be dark because of this virus, but the generosity of people is shining bright!

Read more about our neighborhood food drive on the Fargo Forum!

 

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Michaela Schell
Michaela, along with her husband Jarrod, raise their three young children in Fargo. Michaela grew up on a farm in Western North Dakota, where she developed the strong value of a good day of hard work. So now she rarely sits still. You will find her leading a large network marketing team with Rodan + Fields and running her own training and events company, which developed the Limitless Conference for small business owners. She also loves public speaking and jumps at the chance to share her journey and teach others. You could say she has a passion for growing things... businesses, plants, and people, and feels most blessed to be able to run her businesses from home while growing her family. Michaela hopes to inspire other moms to build businesses and be proud of their personal and professional lives. So often we as moms find ourselves being wrapped in guilt... guilt of working instead of being home with our kids, guilt of being home with our kids and not working, or guilt of being stressed and frazzled trying to do both. But, she believes there is no such thing as balance and if we love our kids and love our careers, both will turn out just fine.

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