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How to Host a Food Drive


Most Iowans don't realize their neighbors may experience occasional food insecurity. Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and visit our food pantries for extra support.


Food drives are a great way to encourage your friends and family to help stock our shelves and raise awareness about our food pantry. Sports teams, classrooms, businesses, civic groups, individuals celebrating a birthday, and families honoring a loved one have all supported our efforts to provide food to our neighbors in need.

Here's how you can organize a food drive for Caring Hands.


  • Contact us. We have different needs throughout the year. Contact our Director of Operations and let us know when you want to run your food drive, and we can tell you the items we need the most.

  • Set a goal. Decide how much food you want to collect and ensure people know your objective.

  • Promote your event. Make sure many people know about your event by personally inviting them to participate. Social media is also a great way to promote your food drive. Caring Hands will be glad to announce your food drive on our Facebook page. We can also provide you with a flier to post at your location. Contact our Marketing Director for assistance.

  • Collect donations for two weeks. You can make the dates longer or shorter, but we suggest running your food drive for two weeks. Let people know what you're collecting, where to drop the items, and the hours they can visit that location.

  • Track your success. Celebrating a goal is more fun, so keep track of the donations received.

  • Drop off your donations. Contact our Director of Operations to coordinate your drop-off. We may even be able to pick up your items. Be sure to take photos of your group members next to the food you collected and tag @CaringHandsOutreachCenter on Facebook.


If you host a food drive, please know that your donations will be greatly appreciated by us and go to grateful food pantry visitors. Our food pantries are judgment free - we don't care why visitors need assistance. We respect the whole person and choose to walk beside people as they navigate life's challenges. Together, we can mobilize compassionate service towards our neighbors.

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