Establishing a new food pantry
A food bank can be an incredible way to contribute to the community and help those in the area who have fallen on hard times. While setting up a new food pantry can be overwhelming, with some organization and hard work, you can make your new food bank a success.
Prior to actually requesting food, figure out what kind of food banks are in the area and what kind of gap your food pantry can fill. Do other food banks only serve in the early mornings, or do the only serve very small portions? By establishing what other services lack, you can better serve the community.
With some community backing, you can then look for a building or hosting structure to base your food pantry. Make sure the building has appropriate temperature control, storage, and refrigeration for the food, and that the building is easily accessible for the people you will serve.
Once you establish what niche your food pantry will fill, send a sponsorship request letter to potential corporate and private donors and follow up the letter with a polished presentation. These organizations can help you by providing essential equipment or funds and local schools and churches can organize drives to stock your food pantry’s shelves.
Search for volunteers at community centers like churches or township clubs. You’ll need about ten volunteers a month in shifts to cover accepting donations, cooking food, distributing food, and basic record keeping.
Once you have a base of volunteers, decide on what your operational hours will be. Regular and routine hours will make your food pantry successful as families will be able to depend upon it. Also decide on what demographics you will serve. Choose if you will only help those who live within your community, what income bracket they must be in, and what family size.
With your demographic identified, organize packs of food for each family. Most packets should include enough food stuffs to feed the family for three days. Families would also find it helpful if you separately packaged and included essentials like toiletries, diapers, and detergent.
While setting up a new food pantry can be a daunting task, with a little forethought and effort, you can help the local community and establish your food pantry.
IMPORTANT: If this message is about a particular food pantry, please specify more than just the name. Add city and phone number. Many pantries contact us and only provide their name. We have many pantries
with the same name.