Food & Fund Drive FAQ

Get the answers to your questions & some great tips for success!

Download FAQs

Whenever possible, we request that food donations meet the following criteria:
• All natural ingredients
• Low sodium
• Low sugar
• No high fructose corn syrup

For additional criteria, including the items we are unable to accept, please view the Quick Reference Guide to Acceptable Donations or the Complete Guide to Acceptable Donations.

• Peanut Butter
• Mac & Cheese
• Canned Meats (tuna, chicken or beef)
• Chili
• SpaghettiOs/Ravioli
• Canned Fruits
• Other Boxed Meals

So that we can provide as much support as possible, all food drives must be registered online or with the Food Drive Specialist, who can be reached at fooddrive@utahfoodbank.org, regardless of whether or not you are requesting supplies and/or transportation. Unfortunately, because we operate on as small of a staff as possible, only food drives resulting in a donation of 500 lbs. or more (the equivalent of a filled SUV or pickup truck) are eligible for Utah Food Bank transportation services for supplies and food pick up.

Please note: In order to receive supplies or transportation, we require that food drives be registered one week prior to the start date.

Each group’s goal is unique and depends on the enthusiasm of those who will be involved. We cannot provide supplies without a set goal. For example, determine how many pounds of food you think each employee is likely to bring (for example, 5 cans), then multiply that by the number of employees.

As long as your food drive goal is 500 lbs. or more (the equivalent of a filled SUV or pickup truck) and your goal is met, or extremely likely to be met, you are eligible for Utah Food Bank transportation services for delivery of supplies and food pick up. If Utah Food Bank is picking up your food, please arrange to have the food you collect placed in a centralized location on the first floor of your building. If there is a large amount of food, we appreciate having someone from your organization available to assist our driver. If you have the capability to provide your own collection receptacles and transportation, it will significantly increase the impact of your donation.

For food drives collecting less than 500 lbs., we ask that you return the supplies and food collected to the east donation door at our warehouse, located at 3150 S. 900 W. in Salt Lake. Food can be dropped off Monday – Friday between 8 am and 5 pm, and Saturday between 8 am and 2 pm.

If you are located in Washington County, please take your donations to our Southern Distribution Center, located at 4416 S. River Road in St. George. Donations can be dropped off at this location Monday – Friday between 8 am and 4:30 pm, or you can call (435) 656-9122 to make special arrangements.

All of these items can be requested during the registration process:

Collection Barrels: these barrels (or bins) measure 3’ high x 2’ wide (round) and can hold approximately 250 lbs. (150 cans).
Totes/Gaylords: these cardboard boxes measure 4’ high x 4’ wide x 4’ deep and can hold up to 1,500 lbs. (900 cans), and must sit on top of a pallet.
Money Shakers: a great collection device for collecting loose change and cash. You can bring it back to us full and we will count the funds collected and report it to you.
Food Drive Envelopes: these self-sealing envelopes give donors the ability to fill in credit card information or provide a check, covering up sensitive personal information.
Promotional Posters: these 11” x 17” posters will be included with your barrels if requested during the registration process. If you have not requested collection receptacles, you can pick these up at 3150 S. 900 W. in Salt Lake or 4416 S. River Road in St. George. If you would like to customize and print your own food & fund drive poster, please click here.

If your food drive goal is 500 lbs. or more and you have requested transportation services, your supplies will be delivered on or around the start date of your food drive.

If you are not eligible for transportation services, you may pick up supplies at the east donation door at our warehouse, located at 3150 S. 900 W. in Salt Lake. Supplies can be picked up and dropped off Monday – Friday between 8 am and 5 pm, and Saturday between 8 am and 2 pm.

If you are located in Washington County, supplies can be picked up at our Southern Distribution center, located at 4416 S. River Road in St. George. Supplies can be picked up and dropped off Monday – Friday between 8 am and 4:30 pm, or you can call (435) 656-9122 to make special arrangements.

Food drive length depends on the type of group hosting the food drive. The following are some timeline tips:

Neighborhood: a one-day food drive is often most successful, preferably with a gathering at a neighbor’s home to attract more donations.
Office: One to two weeks is most successful in this type of setting. A definitive timeline gives your coworkers a chance to get into the spirit of donating.
Religious/Community Organization: Either a one-day effort or two-week long collection effort is ideal, depending on your desired promotion efforts. These types of food drives are most successful with internal promotion and perhaps a meeting or celebration to encourage donors. Two weeks provides those who may have forgotten a chance to still donate.
Retail: a one-month long collection effort is ideal so that customers can bring cans in on their next visit.
School: one to two weeks of collection effort is ideal for schools, as this gives each student time to get excited and pass the information onto their parents.

Consider the audience you are encouraging to donate and what would be the strongest motivation for them to participate. Here are a few ideas to increase your chances at success:

• Work hard to get top level executives or leaders on board with your efforts.
• Select a coordinator or a coordinating committee to be in charge.
• Set a goal for the amount of food and/or funds to be donated.
• Include a Virtual Food Drive as part of your efforts. This secure and convenient online “shopping” experience is a great way to make it quick and easy for anyone to participate!
• Be specific about what types of food are best to donate (see lists at the beginning of these FAQs).
• Encourage healthy competition—a little rivalry goes a long way!
• Provide regular reminders and progress reports regarding the food drive.
• Publicize the results of the food drive, acknowledging those most responsible for its success.
• Place decorated receptacles in highly-visible and high-traffic areas.
• If your food drive is associated with a business, request matching contributions of food or funds from your employer.
• Request a food donation as admission to a special event.
• Create internal publicity utilizing newsletters, memos, emails, bulletins, flyers, posters, payroll inserts, etc.
• Organize a food donation contest and offer prizes or incentives. For example, the winning team could receive dress-down days or movie passes.
• Create donated-food theme days like “Macaroni Mondays” or “Tuna Tuesdays.”
• Don’t forget the importance of communication. Willing participants often need more than one reminder to engage. Different people respond to different reminders—try to use verbal, visual and written reminders!
• Don’t underestimate the power of social media!

With the click of a button, the Virtual Food Drive allows you to shop for our most needed food items without the hassle of a visit to the store, and makes a great complement to a traditional food drive. This online tool provides the opportunity to shop for specific food items, while capitalizing on our purchasing power. Individuals, community groups, schools, religious organizations and businesses are even able to create their own team and invite others to support their efforts. Visit our Virtual Food Drive.

• No more having to remember to pull from a cupboard or buy and lift grocery items.
• Donating takes only a few minutes and all major credit cards are accepted on a secure site.
• All donations are tax-deductible.
• The ability to establish teams encourages competition between departments, locations or partner organizations, which creates buzz and increases success.
• Only our most-needed food items will be donated, and donors get to capitalize on our purchasing power.
• Participants can donate to the Virtual Food Drive from anywhere, and don’t need to remember to bring donations into their workplace or church.
• Our Virtual Food Drive makes it easy to send group emails and share on social media.

• Host a special event that also serves as a food & fund drive, e.g. the CEO’s birthday, company outing or anniversary, back-to-school night or a holiday party. Offer incentives for reaching the goal, such as a casual-dress day, free lunch or pizza party. This can also be accomplished by providing “casual dress” or other coupons.

• Give a prize to the individual, group or department that donated the most food and/or funds. Have a drawing where a certain amount of food “buys” a ticket to enter. The prize could be dinner for two, a gas card or gift certificate.

• Have a contest with a fun prize. If an aggressive goal is met, ask someone in a leadership role within your group or office to wear a funny outfit, be in a dunk tank, sing in front of coworkers or whatever best works for your group or office.

• Host a kick-off event to get your group excited to donate. Show a video about what Utah Food Bank does, or even volunteer at our warehouse! Get a firsthand look at our operations and what is involved in providing emergency food assistance throughout the state. Volunteering is a great team-building experience and can serve as a great kick-off or reward for your food drive. Just be sure to schedule a volunteer appointment well in advance because openings fill up fast. Find out more here.

• Select one of our most-needed food items (such as peanut butter or tuna) and give it a catchy title (i.e., Tuna Tower or Peeps for Peanut Butter). You can even create donated-food theme days such as “Macaroni Mondays” or “Tuna Tuesdays.”

• Have a community event such as a bake sale, cake walk, BBQ dinner, car wash or multi-home yard sale to benefit Utah Food Bank.

• Create a friendly competition by challenging departments, floors in an office building, alumni groups of rival schools, high schools, etc. The winners could make the others wear their school colors, decorate their office or provide a service to the winning team.

Please share your food and/or fund drive ideas with us. Let our Food Drive Specialist in on your success at (801) 887-1266 or fooddrive@utahfoodbank.org.