How to Create a Food Pantry

If you long to do more than write a check to feed the hungry and believe it's more important to care for community members than the world, you're the ideal person to launch a food pantry serving families in your area. Organizational skills will serve you well--in addition to the generous neighbors to whom you'll turn to help feed those who can't do it on their own.

Things You'll Need

  • Building
  • Racking system
  • Food
  • Boxes and bags

Instructions

    • 1

      Read about America's food banking pioneer: the late John van Hengel, whose idea to feed the hungry (link below) started the revolution known as Second Harvest, currently running 94,000 soup kitchens, food pantries and emergency food assistance plans. Solicit start-up funds to underwrite the launch of your pantry by seeking cash and food donations from churches, businesses and consumers.

    • 2

      Find a building to headquarter your pantry if a church, community or charitable organization hasn't offered you space. Appeal to skilled tradespeople and home improvement stores for labor and materials required to build a sorting, storage and distribution racking system. Conduct a needs assessment inquiry to make sure there aren't already adequate numbers of food banks so you don't duplicate efforts.

    • 3

      Seek volunteers via churches and social organizations. Hang flyers and posters in public places. Assign volunteers to specific jobs: record-keeping, sorting, stacking, boxing, quality control and donations.

    • 4

      Contact your area legal aid society for help obtaining the 501(c)3 charitable tax status that will permit you to accept donations. Start a dialog with residents, grocers, food purveyors, restaurants, banquet halls and facilities likely to have surplus foodstuffs. Find additional resources by contacting your state's Department of Agriculture or the USDA.

    • 5

      Establish a list of nonperishable foods sought by families: canned vegetables and fruit, cereals, instant rice and potato products, pastas and boxed entrees, crackers, soups, canned fish and meats, juice--and don't forget jarred baby food and formula. Advise volunteers that donations of perishables can't be accepted unless you have access to refrigeration facilities.

    • 6

      Organize donations by category for fast shelving and retrieval. Obtain health department guidelines on the storage and handling of food to avoid pest infestations. Draft policies and guidelines on how donated food is to be distributed---delivery, pickup or both---and establish a verification method, if any, to ascertain family need (e.g., welfare card, letter of referral). Solicit donations of boxes, bags and other items needed to keep the facility running.

    • 7

      Submit grant proposals to obtain funds that will allow you to expand your pantry's reach. Gather documentation to support your grant appeals--goals, objectives, statistics on the number of people you're feeding and plans for fund raising as grantors tend to be favorably disposed to food banks following the philosophy "the Lord helps those who help themselves."

Related Searches

References

Resources

You May Also Like

  • List of Food Pantries in Indianapolis, IN

    Food pantries are sources of free dry goods, canned items, meats and other food products available to those experiencing a financial hardship....

  • How to Find Free Food for a Food Pantry

    Food pantries are quiet little closets across the globe that are emptied by needy families and filled up again to supply the...

  • How to Create a Garage Food Pantry

    If you want to stockpile food or are short on storage space in your kitchen, you may want to consider creating a...

  • How to Create a Pantry in an Extra Room

    How to Create a Pantry in an Extra Room. If you have an extra room in your home, setting up a pantry...

  • Bulk Foods for Food Pantries

    As of 2011, the United States of America is in a recession. When you find yourself battling through a financial wasteland, you...

  • Difference Between a Food Pantry and a Food Bank

    A food bank is a place or warehouse where food items are stored to be redistributed to soup kitchens and homeless shelters....

  • How to Make a Kitchen Pantry Cabinet

    This will keep the food in your kitchen pantry cabinet fresh and prevent insect and rodent problems. ... How to Create a...

  • How to Develop a Food Pantry Intake Form

    Food pantries are available to low-income families in several communities; they provide basic foods, such as cereals and canned foods, on a...

  • How to Build a Food Pantry

    Pantries are a necessary amenity for the homeowner who likes things organized. Building a food pantry is one way to be certain...

  • Guidelines for a Food Pantry

    Food pantries provide needy people with food, usually at no cost to those being fed. Food pantries often are run by churches...

  • How to Start a Community Outreach Food Pantry

    Setting up a community food bank can be a daunting task but with persistence and determination it can be done. You will...

  • Food Bank Business Plan

    Creating a food bank involves strategies and creating partnerships throughout the community to ensure that people are fed. A detailed strategy with...

  • How to Start an Emergency Food Pantry

    For instance, make sure you have extra pet food on hand, blankets or sleeping bags, an emergency radio, flashlight and batteries, ......

  • DIY Food Pantries

    Creating a food pantry for emergency food storage is important. Many unforeseen things happen that require being prepared. Most natural disasters such...

  • Nonprofit Grants for Building a Food Pantry

    A food pantry or food bank provides economically disadvantaged people–including children–with wholesome food products. Nearly all communities maintain some type ...

  • How to Organize the Pantry

    Party Food; Party Tips; Experts; More eHow. home; mom; style; food; tech; money; health; Featured: ... The way that you organize your...

  • How to Bring Awareness to Food Pantry Needs

    Generating a brand and slogan for a food pantry can make your pitch more memorable. ... How to Start a Community Outreach...

  • How to Obtain Food Donations

    Providing help has traditionally been the domain of food banks, ... Donate Food for a Food Pantry. Donations are vital ... for...

  • How to Open a Food Pantry

    Food pantries are important in many communities, providing food to needy families and service organizations. In running a food pantry, ...

  • Food Pantry Checklist

    Having a well-stocked pantry as part of your home kitchen can make your life a lot easier. The ability to create meals...

Related Ads

View Blog Post

5 Tips for Traveling With Your Significant Other Without Killing Each Other