If you are interested in learning how to start a food bank, get ready to embark on a great experience of helping others as well as bringing a community together. Starting a food back usually begins on a pretty small scale and as more people participate and the need grows, you may find that you are able to help more and more individuals over time.
You will need:
- a location
- a food source
- Find a location. In the beginning, it can be as easy as using some extra space in your garage or home to start a food back. You want to find a place with room to store food as it is being brought in or donated and a place to group items together for distribution. As things expand, it may be helpful to find a location with more space.
- Decide who you are going to be assisting by starting a food bank. Is there a certain group of the population that you want to be able to help? When you begin to ask for assistance from other people and companies, they are going to want to know who you are looking to serve.
- Create goals for the food bank you are starting. Some up with a plan about how the food bank will run and function. Be sure to answer the following questions: How are you going to get food? How is it going to be distributed? How much help do you need?
- Seek out volunteers. If you are in the beginning stages, you will need to find people to help you. The best place to start is with people in your community that have the same ideas about helping people. If you are having trouble, post a flyer up at local churches or high schools as these are groups of people that may want or need to do community service.
- Acquire food to be able to distribute. If you are beginning this on your own, it may be a little costly. You can use coupons and shop the sales to begin to create an inventory. If you are partnering with other friends or family, they can also begin to find ways to get food.
- Find a consistent source for the food supplies. Many times, there are local companies that are willing to participate in a food bank. Schedule a meeting to talk to someone there or delegate someone in your group to begin to talk with people.
- Begin food distribution. Package items together and decide on a time and place to get the food out to the individuals that need it. Eventually, as the food bank grows, it may be a place that people can come to, no matter what time of day or night in order to get the supplies they need.
Knowing how to start a food bank is a great way to give back to your local community. Be sure to come up with your plan before taking any action.