ACO Food Drive
YOU can make a positive difference by hosting an ACO food drive to help us support our mission to prevent hunger.
Allen Community Outreach Food Drive Information
Food insecurity and hunger are unfortunate realities in and around the City of Allen. In 2017, Allen Community Outreach distributed nearly 700,000 pounds of food and household items to persons in need, and the need around us continues to grow. We are now providing food to a third more people than we were each month last year. Members of our community continue to require help with groceries so that they can use their income for other critical expenses like housing, utilities, transportation, and medical needs. A food drive for Allen Community Outreach is a great way for you, your family, or your group to help our neighbors by providing the food that is a fundamental need for us all, and every donation helps.
We hope that the information that follows will help you hold a successful food drive and will help us support you in your work. We’ve been assisting the people around us for more than thirty years, and we are eager to partner with you! If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-727-9131.
Important Planning Steps:
1. Determine whether you would like to collect funds, food, and/or household and personal care items for ACO – whether it be in your workplace, house of worship, neighborhood, school, or with another group of which you are a part. Decide whether you would like to collect within your group or would like to reach out to the larger community in seeking donations.
2. Check the ACO website for the current list of critical needs and any special collections, and decide if there are any specific items you might like to promote for collection.
3. Plan the start and end dates of your drive, giving yourself ample time to promote your project so that many people can plan to participate.
4. Give thought to your collection site and storage options throughout your drive. Determine whether you will need bins or crates from ACO to help you sort and store what you receive.
5. Complete and submit the ACO Food Drive Planning Form. ACO staff will contact you and work through your plan so that your drive can be added to our calendar and we can arrange for any support that you might need.
6. Promote your efforts! If you would like to use the ACO logo in your communications, please contact Jennifer Arsenault, Director of Communications, at email@example.com to discuss our guidelines. Or use ACO’s flyer template to let people know the what, when, and where of your collection. If your drive will be open to community participation, let us know if we can publicize it as well.
7. Deliver your donations after the drive is complete, if possible. If your original plans changed and you need to adjust your drop-off date, please let us know. We want to meet you and give thanks for what you have done to feed our neighbors. If you had a high-volume food drive that requires ACO pick-up, confirm or call for help, keeping in mind our need to schedule any vehicle and staff.
8. Share your accomplishment with the community. You have done something important in service to others. Write about and share pictures from your drive or event. We need your help in letting people know about the hunger in our area and how everyone can help.
Additional Food Drive Tips
- Form a team – A food drive does not need to be a lot of work, but it can be helpful to have the power of a group in planning and executing a significant project. Bring people together to gather creative ideas and to lead different aspects of your drive.
- Visit – Schedule a tour of our food pantry before your drive to learn about the need in our area and the real impact a food drive for ACO will have.
- Consider competition – Provide incentives to build excitement about your collection and to spur people to respond.
- Be creative – Although donations of all kinds are welcome and put to use, you might want to focus your drive on certain items or around a theme to get people’s attention – breakfast staples, cleaning supplies, baking items. Remind drive participants that ACO does not distribute expired, opened, or damaged products and that our clients need consumer-sized packaging.
- Set and promote a goal – A goal will give your group something to work toward and benchmarks that you can share to generate support.
- Promote your project – People can participate only when they know how. Distribute flyers, hang posters, send emails, talk to publications, and use social media to communicate what you are doing and why.
- Consider timing – Planning your drive with ACO will help distribute the scheduling and location of collection efforts in our community, making each drive more successful while also providing a steady source of food for our clients.
- Think about location – If holding an ongoing drive, set up collection sites in safe, visible and high traffic areas with lots of informational signage. Make sure you have plenty of bins for storage and a good place to keep donations until the drive is complete.
- Consider scheduling a drive on a regular basis, especially outside of traditional holiday seasons, so that the pantry will remain amply stocked throughout the entire year.
- Give us your feedback – Tell us what worked for you and what did not. Your ideas will help ACO and other groups like yours do great work.