How the Food Project Works

It's a remarkably simple system, built around two main types of volunteers:

  1. Neighborhood Coordinators (NCs) agree to organize a small group of their friends & neighbors to become Food Donors. Their job generally takes about two hours every two months.
  2. Food Donors are neighbors who agree to give food every two months.

Neighborhood Coordinators (NCs)

  • An NC's donor group can be any number of people they like: 3…10…16…or any size.
  • volunteer NCs decide for themselves what constitutes their “neighborhood.” It can be a few houses, a whole street, several blocks or their work place. The most important thing is for them to feel comfortable with the area they pick. If they want, they can start small and expand their neighborhoods over time.
  • Generally, NCs start their “neighborhoods” by asking their friends & neighbors. Then they may build their "neighborhoods" by knocking on doors, introducing themselves, and asking if people want to participate. It's a great way to get to know other people in your neighborhood.

When a Neighbor Joins

  • The NC gives them a reusable green Food Project bag and suggests that they buy one extra nonperishable grocery item each week when they go to the supermarket. The food is stored in the bag. (Note: Besides the obvious practical application, our Green Bag is an important symbol of mutual commitment, and a constant reminder of the needs of food pantries in our area).
  • boy loading car Then every two months, NCs pick up each Donor's bag of food, leave an empty one, and bring all the bags they collect to our collection center to be distributed to our food pantry partners. Representatives at our collection center receive and process the donations.

When is Pickup Day?

  • Our "official" pickup day is the 2nd Saturday of each even month (Feb. April. June, etc.). But the Food Project is set up to give NCs as much freedom as possible. If they'll be out of town on the official pickup day, or prefer to do it the week before or after, they can come up with their own date and work that out with their Food Donors.

What happens on Pickup Day?

  • Each Food Donor puts the bag of food out by his or her front door. NCs pick up each bag, leave an empty one and a "Thank-you" card (which we supply), and take the food to our collection center, currently the NE Emergency Food Program at 4800 NE 72nd Ave. The food is divided up between our current food pantry partners.
  • dropoff When we get a total weight for the entire pickup, we let NCs know, so they can let their Food Donors know how much of an impact the Food Project and their work is having. This communication is critical.
  • The food goes to groups designated by the Food Project steering committee in assigned proportions.
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2017 Pickup Dates:

  • Saturday, February 11th
  • Saturday, April 8th
  • Saturday, June 10th
  • Saturday, August 12th
  • Saturday, October 14th
  • Saturday, December 9th

Most Needed Items:

Non-Perishable Food

  • Peanut Butter
  • Tuna
  • Cooking Oil
  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Hearty Soups
  • Canned Meat
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Beans
  • Dried Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Canned Corn
  • Masa
  • Brown Rice
  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Plain Stewed Tomatoes
  • Fruit Cocktail
  • Side Dishes
  • Soy Milk
  • Canned Milk
  •  Protein
  • Vegetables
  • Side Dishes (Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, etc.)

Especially for Seniors

  • Dried Fruits
  • Ready made jell-o & pudding
  • Ensure protein drinks
  • Low-sodium Pull-tab Soups
  • Low-sodium Single-
    Serving Meals
  • Low-sodium Crackers
  • Green Tea (regular and decaf)
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Hard Candies

Non-Food Items

  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Soap