Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Service Learning - Food Drives with a Twist

If your group wants to help the community by doing a food drive, here's a creative twist - host a scavenger hunt to collect food around the neighborhood! I've done this with several volunteer groups, and it's always a lot of fun. Here are the directions:

Divide into two or more teams with adult chaperones. Distribute the scavenger hunt food lists to the team, and head out on your adventures. Knock on the door, and explain that you are collecting food for people that are hungry. You might say, "We're doing a scavenger hunt, to see how many food items we can collect. Would you like to help?" Show them the food list, and invite them to donate food. Thank them for their help (or kindly accept their answer of no), then visit your next neighbor. After 30 minutes, tally your points and see which team collected the most points. Treat both teams to ice cream and talk about the importance of helping needy people in our city.

We created our points list based on the most needed items for the agency making food boxes. You can use our list, or work with your local food bank to create a list that fits their needs.

Canned fruit 10
Canned soup 10
Canned vegetables 10
Pasta noodles 10
Soap/Toothpaste 10
Saltine crackers 10
Mac & cheese 10
Oatmeal 15
Dried beans 20
Canned tuna/meat 20
Rice 25
Peanut Butter 25

At the end of the food drive, sort the food into categories for the food bank and help prepare food boxes to distribute to families. It's a really cool way to get young children involved in helping the community. It meets a tangible need in the community, it's very age appropriate, and it's a fun way to spend time together!