By Joanna Scatasti, Communications Intern
It’s no surprise that the holiday season brings forth warm hearts and wishes of good tidings. Along with these things, food drives most often occur. Although it is nice that people want to give around the holiday season, why do we just stop there? The summertime brings forth a “dead-period” for many food banks. While many are enjoying summer vacation, hunger is not top of mind. Those who are in need, however, don’t have the luxury to think of a summer vacation while they’re making ends meet on limited budgets.
Hunger is a year-long issue across the country, and the holiday season shouldn’t be the only time we’re thinking of those in need. Let’s open our minds and our hearts to the realization that people need food not only during the holiday season, but in the summer “off-season,” too. Here are some ideas for summer food drives. Not only are they effective, but they are fun and rewarding for everyone:
- BBQ Food Drive– Summer months call for dads in outdated sandals with a spatula in their hand ready to grill. Grilling during the summer is a staple in many households. Host a food drive that has participants gathering food items that would typically be found at a barbeque. Be careful, though. Don’t bring items that can easily spoil such as perishable products. Food safety is paramount for hunger-relief organizations like the Food Bank of Delaware.
- Christmas-in-July Drive– Ho! Ho! Ho! We already know the effects of the holiday season in relation to food drives. Christmas in July is something that many celebrate. How about we celebrate that with a food drive? Bring food items that normally are brought during the winter months, such as: canned fruit, instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables… the list goes on. These food items typically are cheaper to buy in the summer months anyways—another perk!
- Environmental Food Drive– Protecting the environment and keeping it “green” is something that many strive to do. Host a food drive where participants donate green foods such as green pasta or canned green vegetables—the greener, the better!
- Breakfast-Drive: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, isn’t it? Have participants bring breakfast themed items to the drive. Cereal, instant oatmeal, fruit juice, etc. The more the merrier! Encourage participants to dress in their pajamas to add to the fun!
- Color-drive: Recently there has been a big buzz about adding more color to your dinner plate. Encourage participants to donate foods with lots of color. Canned fruits, vegetables, colored pastas… the possibilities are endless! For more of a twist, have participants compete to see who can donate the biggest variety of colors. The winner receives the prize of knowing that they’re helping someone in need!
These are just a few examples of how food drives in the summer can be equally as fun and as rewarding as food drives in the winter. Hunger is a year-long ordeal. Help your neighbors in need by using these food drive ideas or coming up with even better ones on your own!
To learn more about hosting a food drive for the Food Bank of Delaware, please click here.