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 neighbors to become Food Donors. Their job generally takes a few hours a month.
  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, or several blocks. 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 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 neighbors. Many NCs start out by asking friends and acquaintances who live nearby.

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 FP bag is an important symbol of mutual commitment, and a constant reminder of the food bank's needs).
  • 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 the SECC Food Pantry at 5535 S.E. Rhone. Representatives are there to receive and process it.

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 the Food Bank.
  • 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 FP, and their work, is having. This communication is critical.
  • The food goes to groups designated by the Food Project steering committee, in assigned proportions.

Next Pickup Day: Saturday, June 10

Most Needed Items:

Non-Perishable Food

  • Cereal
  • Hearty Soups
  • Canned Meat
  • Canned Fruit
  • Cooking Oil
  • Canned Tuna
  • 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
  • Texturized Vegetable Protein
  • Pasta
  • 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