Best ways to increase Scouting for Food donations


What are effective ways to increase the amount of food donated when conducting a door-to-door Scouting for food drive?

I'm looking for ideas in regards to "drop off bags at homes, then pick them up a week later" type drives, not food drives in general.


4 Answers


IMO its all about timing. We do our annual Scouting for Food Drive at the beginning of December, so the mood is right for giving. We do the standard drop off and pick up a week later, but we also collect most of donations on the day of the event. Scouts in uniform asking. One of the best ways to motivate Scouts to go out and get the food is to have them work a day at the shelter or food bank where the food is being distributed. This really opens their eyes to the need. I think door to door asks by a Scout that has a good presentation is a fine method of collecting. In our case part of the presentation is reminding the givers that all the food we collect is going to a specific place.


Planning, advertising and organization is a critical key to Scouting for Food.

Planning by contacting all units and doing a coordinate effort between Troop, Packs, Crews plus between Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts since this is a community event. Advertising in getting road signs out and articles in newspapers like local Penny Savers and local community newspapers besides the city newspaper. Organization by having maps for territories already printed for handout at the start point meeting place so territories are covered multiple times.

Utilized community places like the local grocery and hardware. Need to ask the store manager permission first and include them in the coordinated efforts of the community since the food goes to the local food pantry. (Great place to put Tiger dens and first year Brownies) As someone mentioned timing is important since this takes place on Saturday morning. Get everyone together at 8:30-8:45 am at the meeting place to give them their map so they are ready to be in their territory for door knocking at 9am. 9am to 11 am is the best times for collections before people leave their homes to do their Saturdays errands.

We dropped doing the flyers and opted for the road sign posting reminder. We opted for doing one weekend for Scouting for Food instead of two weekends Its very IMPORTANT that the road signs only be up one week. Put them up Sunday the week before Scouting for Food and take them down that Saturday Scouting for Food ends.

Looking at this as a yearly coordinated community event with one Chairperson for all has one passing the 'Scouting for Food' Chair folder down to the next year's Chair that helps keep it organized and easy to recruit a new chair yearly.


Our Council uses the put out door hangers one week and then collect the next week method. I personally have some reservations about the boys knocking on doors to ask for donations. However, we have units that do do that and some that don't, it is their choice.

We have included our community grocery stores and some local business by making several of their stores collection points. this not only gets them involved it also gives scouts a large audience to see all of the good work they are doing.


Many people just do not know what the local pantry need. Adding a list of specific food items to hangers and flyers can really help. Tell people exactly what you need and they will donate more.

Work with local food stores to pre-assemble shopping bags and create a display table for them at the entrance. Bags are filled with items the local pantry needs, stapled shut, pre-priced in various amounts like $5, $10, $20, and shoppers get a tax receipt from the cash register. Make it easy and people will donate more. Stores love it because it increases sales.

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