5 Reasons to Hold a Food Drive:

  • Food Drives round out what is needed. There are a number of items that people need, the pantries want to provide, but are not always available at the Food Bank. Food Drives increase the supply of high need items such as soup, peanut butter, tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, and personal care items.
  • Food Drives increase the donor pool, and often, connections are made between the donor and the organization serving the hungry. Food Drive donations can save pantries thousands of dollars a year. A small donation from many adds up to a tremendous amount of food for the hungry.
  • Food Drives raise awareness about poverty and the need to advocate for the poor. Educational efforts can be tied into food collections to provide holistic ministry.
  • Food Drives provide creative hands-on projects. The education provided to a child who takes a can out of the cupboard to share with someone who needs it can be far more valuable than putting money in a collection plate. Youth Groups can easily become involved in food collection efforts.
  • Food Drives build community so people from a wide range of ages, neighborhoods, churches, schools, and businesses all work together for a common cause, get acquainted and become friends.

Currently, over 7,000 households are being served each month through the network of 100 pantries in Kent County.

For more information on organizing a food drive, contact your local Food Pantry or the Access Office at 774-2175.

Access of West Michigan Food and Donation Drives:

Reasons to Volunteer with your kids:

  1. It’s a great teaching tool. It gives kids the chance to see other perspectives and learn about someone else. “When (kids) do something for someone else, it makes them feel better,” says Jan Rosochacki, of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
  2. It has lasting effects. Starting kids young is the way to get kids involved as adults. “They feel good about (volunteering), and it makes them want to be that way growing up,” says Kathryn Crawford, of the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan.
  3. Giving time is priceless. Giving money is great, but giving time and using talents provide children a sense of accomplishment. Seeing their work benefiting a person in the community can be just what a child needs to build their self esteem, Rosochacki says. “It makes them feel more valuable.”
  4. It’s a good real-world experience, too. One day, our kids are going to grow up and get jobs. This is one way to get kids ready, says Janelle Burden, of Arbor Circle.
  5. Volunteering as a family is quality time. Don’t just drop your kids off at the door to volunteer on their own. Go in and be a part of the volunteer effort, too. It gives you one more thing to talk about, and it reinforces the message of helping others, said Jane Royer, director of the Volunteer Center at the Heart of West Michigan United Way.

GR Press 1/8/06