A neighborhood food drive is a good way to begin your neighborhood outreach ministry. Here are several easy steps to take in organizing an effective food drive.

1. At least three weeks prior to the drive, get approval from your homeowners’ association or apartment manager, if applicable.

2. Two to three weeks ahead, notify your neighbors of the plan, detailing the items needed, the date, and the time of the drive. Do this by distributing a letter to each neighbor within your established boundaries. 

3. One week before the drive, place yard signs advertising the event throughout your neighborhood.

4. On the day of the drive, set up a visible drop-off location in your neighborhood. You may want to use a tent. Supply coffee, doughnuts, and information about the organization that will be receiving the food.

5. Provide a sign-up sheet to collect neighbors’ contact information. 

6. Also ask neighbors to indicate if they’d be interested in future neighborhood outreach projects.

7. Within one week of the drive, deliver the donations.

8. After the drive, connect with neighbors who participated. Serve refreshments at your house, or plan a cookout to say thanks. If a get-together isn’t feasible, call or send a written thank-you note to those who donated and/or assisted with the food collection.

- From the book, Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach by Group Publishing, 2007.

Note: At Immanuel, we do have a Food Pantry ministry – Church secretary Kim Graf will assist you with publicity for your food drive and with arrangements for food distribution. You may choose to transport food to Hope Lutheran Church’s pantry, or Walther Memorial will pick food up from Immanuel and take it to their pantry. 

"Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God." – 1 John 3:18-19