The Crisis Center of Johnson County can’t help hungry people get food without donations from the community. Food drives of all sizes help keep the Food Bank shelves full. Use these tips to help make your effort successful.

Make your food drive plan

Donors: Who are you hoping to collect donations from? A beginner food drive usually targets your co-workers, classmates, neighbors, and friends. A community-wide food drive targets a broader audience. The rest of your food drive details will depend on who you hope to reach.
Time: Some food drives collect donations over a few weeks, while others happen on a single day. Two weeks is a good timespan for a food drive in your office or at school.
Location: Pick a visible and accessible spot to collect donations. A school library, office breakroom, or church lobby are all good examples. To reach the broader community, a public space like a local grocery store or somewhere on the University of Iowa campus often works best.
Promotion: Get the word out before and during the food drive. Posters, newsletters, social networks, and emails are all cheap, easy, and effective ways to get the word out. Make sure to include the donation location, which items you’re hoping to collect, and the last day to donate. Scroll down to download and print food drive materials.
Drop-off: Please make plans to deliver your donations to 1121 Gilbert Ct. during the week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. We ask that you avoid dropping off during the noon hour as that is our busiest time of day serving clients. Let us know when you're coming in the form below and we can arrange to meet you and snap a photo of you and your donations.

Ideas for an extra edge

Go social: Snap a quick photo of your food drive in action -- making signs, donations accumulating, loading and transporting the food -- and share those images with The Crisis Center on Facebook and Twitter.
Special events: Partnering with an event that’s already planned is a good way to reach more people.
Make it a contest: Organizing a food drive competition between different classes or office departments can be fun and productive.
Company support: Ask your manager about whether your company can make a donation or offer perks to employees who get involved.
Dollars and cents: The Crisis Center can buy food much cheaper than at the grocery store, so we can stretch your dollar further. Consider collecting cash donations along with food.
Find a niche: People sometimes respond better to food drives for specific items. Consider focusing on a few of these most-needed items: peanut butter; canned fruit and fruit juice; pasta and rice; canned vegetables; hearty soups and stews; baby items; laundry detergent; toilet paper. Also consider one of The Crisis Center’s theme months: “Spread the Love” PB&J campaign February, “Shower The Crisis Center” baby items campaign in April, and “TP The Crisis Center” toilet paper campaign in October.

Help us help you

Give us the details about your food drive and we’ll do our best to make it successful. Contact communications coordinator Jay Capron for help promoting your event:
Here are ways The Crisis Center can support your food drive:
Media relations: The Crisis Center can let local news organizations know about your event.
Online: We’ll use our website and social media pages to let the community know how to help.
Helpful items: Let us know a couple weeks before your food drive and we’ll lend you donation barrels and a lockbox for monetary donations.
A friendly face: Let us know about your event a month in advance and The Crisis Center can often send a staffer to meet with supporters and talk about the organization. Due to limited staff resources, The Crisis Center cannot pick up donations or participate in every event.

Download and print

Use these pre-made posters and handouts to promote your food drive.