County Wide Food Drive Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my group involved?

Sign up to be a Captain. Complete the web form, or fill out the brochure insert and mail it to Acess at 750 First St NW Grand Rapids 49504; or call the Access office 774-2175 with the following information: Name of group, contact name, mailing address, phone number, and estimated number of volunteers.

What does a Captain do?

Captains serve as the contact person between their group and the planning committee. Captains recruit door-to-door canvassers or sorters & packers.

What do Canvassers do?

Canvassers drive to an assigned route area to collect food donations from homes on their route. They bring the food to designated collection sites.

Do we have to knock on doors?

Knocking on doors is encouraged, as generally more food is collected this way. However, each group should use discretion based on safety and time allotment to decide if they wish to collect only food placed on door steps or to knock on doors.

I’m not part of a group. How can I help?

Call the Access office for information on where to help as either a canvasser or sorter.

How long does it take?

It usually takes three to four hours, beginning with the 9:00 AM Praise Rally. Canvassers are usually finished by noon. Sorters and packers are needed morning (10-noon), afternoon (noon-2PM), and in some areas late afternoon (2-4PM).

We’re busy in the morning. What can we do to help?

Help with sorting and packing at a collection site in the afternoon. OR help pre-flyer ahead of time (call for details)

How old do volunteers need to be?

All ages are welcome. Children come with their families, youth groups come with their leaders. Special jobs are available for those with mobility or other physical challenges.

How can we make this a learning experience?

Call the Access office for curriculum ideas. Good web sites to check: www.bread.org ; www.povertyusa.org ; www.one.org ; www.kidscanmakeadifference.org ; www.micahchallenge.org

Where does the food drive start?

At a Praise Rally near you. Call the Access office for locations.

What happens at the Praise Rally?

After a brief inspirational message, volunteers pick up supplies and route assignments.

Who gets the food?

Food and monetary donations are distributed to Access food pantries, currently serving over 7,000 Kent County households each month.

Who handles the publicity?

A Coordinating committee organizes placement of signs and other publicity with the help of sponsors including 91.3 WCSG, Mercantile Bank, Spartan Stores, and The Grand Rapids Press.

What is the collection / coverage area?

The coverage area includes most of Grand Rapids and parts of Walker, Wyoming, Kentwood, GR Twp and East Grand Rapids. Drop off locations include D&W and Family Fare grocery stores, Mercantile Banks and 91.3 WCSG. Call for additional drop-off sites in outlying areas.

What about Apartments & Condos?

Apartment complexes, Condos, and Mobile Home Park collections are organized separately from door-to-door canvassers and are handled by volunteers from the Senior Meals Pantry. Call the Access office for instructions.