You can do it! Hosting your first Virtual Food Drive

A bag of groceries and the words gather connect renew.

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community this holiday season? Do you want to make a difference to 1 in 6 people in your community – all while having fun and connecting with your friends, family and co-workers?

Then it’s time to host a Virtual Food Drive!

A Virtual Food Drive is an easy online fundraiser that you can start at any time, in only a few minutes. There are no barrels to set up and no cans to lift, but you’ll ensure your neighbors facing food insecurity can access the food that nourishes our bodies and spirits now and after the holidays. 

Why Virtual?

Click for a full-sized, printable version
  • Virtual food drives help us purchase our most in-demand items
  • Our bulk buying power means your dollars go further. Every $1 donated = 2 meals
  • With no donations to pick up in our trucks, we save on fuel and help the environment
  • It’s easy for you! Setting up your drive only takes a few minutes – just make an account, pick a team name and set a fundraising goal
  • It’s so easy for donors! Participants can pay with any major credit card, PayPal or Venmo, and instantly receive a receipt confirming their donation

Want to see what your drive can do? We’ve created a Virtual Food Drive Gift Guide to show how your donors’ contributions become meals and groceries.

I’m ready to start my Virtual Food Drive!

I’m in… now what?

Running a Virtual Food Drive is easier than you think! And with these tips and fun ideas from veteran organizers, yours is sure to be a success.

1. Gather your team

Everything is more fun with friends! Invite the people in your life who are passionate about helping others to join your Virtual Food Drive team.

  • Trent helps organize Virtual Food Drives at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with his hunger-fighting co-workers. 
  • Dan, who’s been part of the Food from the Bar fundraiser for 25 years, collaborates with members of the legal community, from judges and lawyers to staff at other law firms.
  • Jayne, who spent eight years organizing the Blackhawk community food drive, joined forces with her neighbors to make that event an annual success.

2. Spread the word

Jayne makes sure people hear about her donation drive early and often. She also makes sure they know that their donations will help the Food Bank serve 1 in 6 of their neighbors each month, and that every dollar can provide enough food for two meals.

Use this customizable poster to help get the word out about your drive. Make sure to add the name of your Virtual Food Drive so people will know where to find it!

Click for full sized, printable version

Try posting about your drive on social media, sending a personal email or text message to family and friends or tapping into a work newsletter. Don’t be afraid to get creative! 

3. Start a friendly competition

What’s better than one Virtual Food Drive? Two! Challenge another department at your workplace, or a competing team in your adult sports league, or your rivals at your local trivia night to set up their own virtual drive. Whoever raises the most funds gets bragging rights – until next year.

Dan says competition between law firms has been a big part of the success of Food from the Bar. “They do get into that, and I think it makes them dig deeper,” he shares.

4. Offer to match donations

If you’re also planning to make a donation to the Food Bank, offer to match your donors’ contributions to your Food Drive up to that amount. If you’re organizing a workplace event, your company or leadership may also be willing to offer a match.

Trent likes to offer his matches for a short period of time – anywhere from a day to a week – to help keep people excited about the drive. “Everybody wants to donate, but they have to have a reason to do it right now,” he says.  

And don’t forget to let people know when you’re getting close to meeting your match! People will be even more excited to donate when they see they’re helping you get to the finish line.

5. Say thank you

Don’t forget to personally thank your supporters for caring about food insecurity – and about you! You can also tag them on social media and send thank you notes through our Virtual Food Drive website.

Start your Virtual Food Drive

What if I want to donate food too?

We appreciate your generosity so much! However, due to the huge increase in need we’ve seen since the pandemic our trucks are very busy delivering food. We can only provide barrels and pick up for large-scale (100 pounds or more) food drives. If you do want to make a smaller food donation, you can drop it off at either of our warehouses during these hours:

Concord Warehouse
4010 Nelson Ave.
Concord, CA 94520
Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday-Sunday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Fairfield Warehouse
2370 N Watney Way
Fairfield, CA 94533
Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-3:30 pm
Saturday: 8 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Sunday: CLOSED