Running A Canned Food DriveThe canned food drive is a great way to bring the school together for a common cause. We normally start in mid-November. The announcements talk about how we can help our fellow students. We also have a contest to see which class can bring in the most cans per student. The canned food drive will typically run 2-3 weeks. Students will bring un-opened canned goods to their first period class. We accept pretty much anything that has a shelf life of more than one month. This includes rice, pasta, cereal, baking goods, sauces, cookies, crackers and all canned goods.
Collect and sort
We have scheduled pickups throughout the three week period when the leadership students will collect the cans from each class. As we pick them up we count the totals for each class then take the cans to a central location to sort them by type. During this process we separate glass and expired items. We throw all expired items in the trash; glass is just separated out for safety reasons. After each pickup we make an announcement to update the school on our total cans as well as which classrooms are in the top places. The top three classes will get a donut party.
When the canned food drive has come to an end we then re-sort the cans into groups. Our school health clerk will find between 10 to 15 families that are not doing so well financially. We try and put equal amounts of food in each group so one family does not end up with all of one type of food. Staff members are also divided up into and each group has one family. The health clerk in communication with the families finds out what the family members need (shoes, socks, blankets etc…) and the staff members will buy some stuff that is given to the families along with the food. We typically distribute the food and items just before winter break.
I have attached 2 files to this article. One is a worksheet we use to calculate how many cans each class has brought in and divides that total cans by the number of students in each class and another file that has some examples of announcements that we use at our school. I have found in the past that the small special needs classes typically win so I usually give a donut party to the class that brings the most total cans as well.Announcements and Letter to Teachers (.doc)
Class Listing Worksheet (.xls)Ben Star - Irvine, CA (Aug 14, 2011)