Food Drives 101: Tips for Toying with Themes

June 25, 2016 | 9:25 am | Written by

Let’s face it. We all love themes. There’s just something about the unification of a group under a common subject or idea that excites us.

One way to get people excited about your food drive is to only collect items related to a specific idea or topic. At a loss? We are here to help. Here is a list of 10 themed food drive examples to help you reach your food collection goal.

Back-to-School Drive


There is nothing like sticky, gooey peanut butter combined with the sugary smoothness of grape jelly. If you close your eyes you can almost pretend you are still a carefree elementary school kid. Almost. In September, kids across the country are gearing up to go back to school. September also happens to be Hunger Action Month. This is the perfect time to host a back-to-school drive in which you only collect peanut butter and jelly. Added bonus: peanut butter is one of the most requested items in food banks.

BBQ Drive

There is no shortage of BBQs in the summer months, especially during Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends. One fun, themed drive idea is to collect items a person would bring to a BBQ. Suggested items to collect are: ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, canned beans, chips, pretzels, canned vegetables (corn, peas, etc.), and canned fruit.

National Apple Week Drive

I bet you didn’t know that the second week of August is National Apple Week. Now you do. With this newfound knowledge, try holding a food drive and collecting only applesauce.

Shark Week DriveSharksLoveTunaFoodBanksDoToo

Shark Week is a week-long, annual television programming event featuring shark content on the Discovery Channel. In conjunction with this widely-viewed event, hold a food drive collecting only tuna. Tuna is also a highly requested item by food banks and pantries because of its high protein content. Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to watch Shark Week to hold this drive.

Kick Hunger to the Curb

Summer and autumn are full of soccer, lacrosse, and football games. Suggest to athletes and their families that they should bring sports drinks and water to your drive — it’s very possible that they already have these items in their homes. Score!

Christmas in July Drive: O, Come, All Ye Faithful (to this food drive)

The holiday season is a very popular time to hold HolidayCansFoodDrive_Smallfood drives. Recently, people have been holding Christmas in July parties, and some supermarkets even do Christmas in July sales in which they sell food served during the holidays at a lower price. Hold a drive in which you collect items typically served at holiday parties. Suggested items to collect include: instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, canned fruit, rice packages, crackers, pudding, jello, tea, instant coffee, and canned soup. On the first day of Christmas (in July), a donor gave to me, 12 cans of green beans…

Going Hungry is Nuts!

People love wordplay. Cas(c)hew on that. For this drive, collect all types of nuts and nut products. Suggested items to collect include: peanuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, mixed nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, peanut butter, hazelnut spread/Nutella, almond butter, and cashew butter.

Let’s “Crack” the Code to Fighting Hunger

The more wordplay the better. For this drive, ask donors to bring crackers.

Earth Day Food Drivedonotpackupyourplants

Earth Day is April 22nd. Hold a drive in which you only collect green foods. Suggested items to collect are: pickles, green pasta, canned green vegetables (peas, green beans, etc.)

*This can also be done for St. Patrick’s Day. Look at us, recycling ideas; how green!

Boston Tea Party Food Drive

We are going a little out of the box for this one. Okay, maybe completely out of the box. The anniversary of the Boston Tea Party is December 16th.  Not a history buff? We’ll give you a refresher. The Boston Tea party occurred when Massachusetts colonists threw 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. They did so in protest of the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773. You know how we at Move For Hunger feel about food waste. Not cool, but we’ll give them a pass just this once because of their patriotic intentions.  A quirky food drive to hold during the week of December 16th is one in which you only collect tea. Pinkies up!

So concludes our list of suggested food drive theme ideas. Be sure contact us at 732-774-0521 so we can connect you to a socially-responsible mover in your area to pick-up and deliver your haul to your local food bank or pantry.

Good luck, and happy collecting!

About Move For Hunger

More than 41 million Americans, including 1 in 6 children, struggle with food insecurity each day. Hunger exists in every state, county, and congressional district in the United States.

Move For Hunger has collected nearly 9 million pounds of food thanks, in large part, to ordinary people like you who recognized the urgency of the problem and decided to take action. We need your support to continue providing meals for our neighbors in need.

We have delivered more than


of food to food banks across United States & Canada.

These food donations account for more than


for people in need.