October 18, 2023
From empty bags to food pantry shelves
Members of St. Bernard Catholic Church’s Human Needs Commission devised a simple plan for a food drive that yielded amazing results.
During the weekend of October 7, they handed out paper grocery bags with WayForward’s shopping list stapled to them and encouraged families to fill them with items from the list. Churchgoers were invited to return the bags the following weekend and drop them in food barrels stationed at the entrances to the church parking lot. That weekend the barrels were overflowing.
“The participation was great,” says commission member Barbara Roberts, who delivered the results of the church’s drive along with Dick Seifert (pictured above).
The group handed out an estimated 200 bags and about 170 came back. The drive collected 1,212 pounds of food for WayForward’s pantry, the equivalent of more than 1,000 meals.
Roberts says she thinks giving people a physical reminder to take part was the difference in making the food drive a success.
“What people have told us is that it’s a visible reminder during the week,” she says. “You see it on the kitchen counter and you’re reminded, ‘I’ve got to stop at the grocery store.’”
You can hold a food drive in your office, school, team or organization. Our shopping list includes: breakfast cereals/oatmeal, rice, pasta and sauce, mac and cheese, peanut butter, canned soup, snacks, condiments, canned chicken and tuna, flour and sugar, cooking oil, toiletries, diapers and wipes.