September is Hunger Action Month. Courtesy of Lisa Tomasi, Philanthropy Expert and Founder of e-giving site YouGiveGoods, she offers these tips below of how you can start a drive this month.
Tips to Fight Back During Hunger Action Month:
- Advocate. Use your voice to spread the word about hunger in your community. Social media has made this quite easy to do. Alert your online community that we are in the midst of Hunger Action Month and about the plight of the hungry in their own backyards. Share quotes and statistics about hunger and ask them to support their local hunger relief organization.
- Volunteer. Most food banks, pantries and soup kitchens rely on volunteers to make their operations work. Volunteers can sort donations, stock shelves and help with distribution. Volunteers can also frequently help from home in the form of virtual volunteering. Contact your local hunger relief organization to see if you can utilize your specific skills to help them with business operations like accounting, marketing, website and administration.
- Run a food drive. You can really increase your impact by organizing your own food drive. Food drives run in conjunction with your company, school, church or group tend to have the best results. And, always add an online component to your traditional drive (or run your online drive alone). Use YouGiveGoods.com to run an online drive for your local food pantry. The online drive service is free to use, easy to share on social media, and simple for supporters to shop online for brand-new most-needed food items which are shipped directly to the pantry at the close of the drive.
- Donate money. Hunger relief organizations need monetary donations to operate. Any size donation will be welcomed.
- Donate food. Don’t just walk by the donation bin at your school, store or company. Make a point to donate food whenever the opportunity arises.
I am a member of an online community group for my town. Last month I agreed to be a point of contact for our struggling food bank. I am responsible for gathering non-food items that our food bank is very low on. They need laundry, cleaning and toiletry supplies. I post regular updates, photos of how the large box I have is filling up and when full I announce dates I will make a food bank run. Members have my address and can porch drop off to me on this side of town. Our food bank is only open for donations for 2 short hours a day so having another location for such organizations is a huge help for those who want to help but cannot drop off at their times. I open my porch for drop offs 24/7.
I did create a You Give Goods drive for the Food Bank as ell. To see how a drive looks, you can peek at mine at https://yougivegoods.com/lsfoodbank. What donators can do is shop right through the shop tab for the goods I chose are needed. These are bulk items-like Costco size that get sent directly to the Food Bank in the donators name. Once you purchase these bulk goods you are sent a donation receipt for your tax purposes. This is great as I am just a drop off spot so those that want to shop and need donation vouchers can get one this way. It is easy to do-just put a call out in your community. With Facebook Groups, almost every town has one to join. From there you are a voice to reach out to locals who may want to help. September is a great month to start!