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Food Drives: Where Do Your Donations Go?

Ever wonder if your food drive donations make it to those in need or if they are being pocketed by an evil fake corporation? Well, I can assure you my friends, food donations are being properly distributed (whew!). Read more to find out how it works.Food Drive Donations

It’s that time of year again! It’s chilly outside, making everything inside exponentially warmer and more fuzzy feeling than usual. A runny nose is greeted with a sort of nostalgia for what the winter months bring with them; love and celebration. During this time we all gather with our friends and family to celebrate life in many different ways, most of which involve feasts of all kinds. When we’re being grateful for everything that we have we usually stop and attempt to reach out to give to those who have-not.

During the holiday months many places collect donations and run food drives for the hungry, but it’s not often that we stop and ask the question, “where are the donations going and how do they help?” I became interested in the inner-workings of food banks when the 3 Men Movers Houston, San Antonio, and Austin offices hosted a food bank recently and I decided to do a little research.

Often when donating to charity we wonder if our donations are actually being given to those in need, or if they are being pocketed by an evil fake corporation. Well, I can assure you my friends, food donations are being properly given to those in need. This is how it works:

  • Donations are collected from various donation points and taken back to the food bank. We usually see food drives happening at grocery stores, with companies, or with schools. However, anyone can host a food drive with the help of your local food bank. They will happily supply you with the materials needed to promote donations.

  • At the food bank the donations are sorted by volunteers. The food bank is sensitive to the needs of the people that they are feeding. There are often dietary restrictions due to health concerns that the bank needs to take into consideration. They also like to try and give people foods that they enjoy. For example, if you donate a can of sauerkraut, the team is going to do their best to get that sauerkraut to a person that loves sauerkraut! So don’t hesitate to donate unique foods. Also, think about nutritional factors. It is hard to come across protein sources that are non-perishable. Donations like beans and canned fish are given high value at the food bank.

  • The donations are then handed out to a variety of other non-profit foundations that help combat starvation. In most states if you dial 2-1-1 it takes you to a food emergency line which helps connect people with sources of food for the hungry. Food banks are the central supplier for foundations that offer disaster relief meals, meals for the housebound, meals for the elderly, and school lunches for low income families. So when you donate to a food bank, you are donating to a plethora of different charitable foundations that will put your donation to good use.

Although food banks request donations of non-perishable food items, they do also accept monetary donations. Food banks can stretch your dollars further than you can and feed more hungry people with cash than with cans. In this article, one food banker stated that her food bank can get $4 worth of food for every $1 donated. The reason why food banks push for food donations is because they’re easier! It is easy to put an extra can or two of food into your basket when shopping at a grocery store in order to drop them in the donation bin on your way out. In our case, we allow people to donate non-perishable food items when they’re cleaning out their kitchens during a move. Donating food is often more convenient which means more people will participate. It is also important to note that food donations are needed year-round, not just during the holiday months.

So whether it’s scarf and boots weather or swimsuits and flip-flops, your donations are being used to help support hungry people in your city. Pick up an extra can of beans or tuna when you’re in the grocery store and drop it off in the donation bin up front. Or volunteer your time at your local food bank. All help goes a long way and it is never under-appreciated.