The Virtual Food Drive will offer an efficient way to put more meals on the table for New Yorkers in need, do it faster, and according to the Food Bank, do it with less expense than traditional food collection drives.
Utilizing the Food Bank’s wholesale purchasing power and efficient distribution model, food donations will be stretched even further — doubling or even tripling the amount of food a dollar can provide.
All donations go toward purchasing much-needed supplemental food and grocery products that traditional food drives do not bring in.
“We’ve been finding over the last couple of years that traditional food drives are not bringing in enough food," said Debbie Kellog, director of Business Partnerships at the Food Bank. "It’s costly for us to pick up when collection has been low.”
The Virtual Food Drive's website tool mirrors the familiar experience of grocery shopping online. Users can shop the aisles – meat and fish, grains and beans, dairy and eggs, produce, and other supplies – place items in a shopping cart to check out and make a secure donation on the Food Bank web servers.
For example, a $5 donation can provide 25 meals to New Yorkers in need, and for every $36 donated, one child can get the food they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle for three months.
“It provides purchasing power,” Kellog said.
Approximately 1.5 million people rely on the Food Bank's services annually, and nearly half (47 percent) of all New York City households with children struggle to afford food. One in five New York City children and one in six seniors relies on emergency food from a soup kitchen or food pantry to make ends meet.
Donors immediately get to see how their participation impacts the fundraising goal. To register, users create their own personalized Virtual Food Drive campaign and set a fundraising goal.
There is also an opportunity for individual or company donors to set goals by setting up competitions between locations, divisions, departments or individuals.
“We’ve had a lot of companies so far call us, setting goals,” Kellog said.
Peapod is offering a special "Thank You" donor code, which will give donors a $10 discount off their next Peapod delivery of $100 or more.
“We hope the Virtual Food Drive will encourage many New Yorkers to help their neighbors struggling with food insecurity,” said Peg Merzbacher, director of marketing for Peapod by Stop & Shop.
Corporations, organizations and individuals are given access to full reporting of donations so they can track the success of their campaign. Donations are delivered to the Food Bank instantaneously and donors receive an email tax deduction receipt automatically.
Visit Foodbanknyc.org to set up a virtual food drive.