Last fall in a ward meeting someone in the bishopric mentioned that he was looking for ideas for a ward service project. I thought about the humanitarian mission of the church and the admonition to feed the poor. Often I feel that our church does a fantastic job of feeding our poor but does not reach out enough to our communities. I know that we’re all busy. Many of us already volunteer in our communities with the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), city government, coaching, and in classrooms. But sometimes I think that we feel that we’ve done our part when we donate our Fast Offering, but there is a lot of need out there especially in this economy.
I proposed a ward food drive. Our ward encompasses 5 towns. I decided to use the Relief Society to organize it because that is where I am now serving. But I think that the Elder’s Quorum could just as easily head it up. I asked for someone or a group to head up collections for each town. They would be responsible for identifying a food pantry to collect for, identifying any specific items to collect, coordinating the collection and drop off of donations. I also asked someone to volunteer to design a flyer that could be personalized for each town with the name of the food pantry, specific items requested by the pantry and information about collection for each town.
Ideas for Including Everyone:
The beauty of a ward food drive is that everyone can choose how to participate. If someone only wants to pick up and drop off donations that is helpful. If someone has the skills to publicize the food drive we can use their expertise.
Primary children can take flyers to their neighbors asking for donations. They can ask their classmates at school. Or they can bring items from home. The children can participate as much or as little as their families want to.
Youth also can pass out flyers to their neighbors or at school. They can help organize and collect donations and can count the hours they spend towards meeting the service requirements for Personal Progress or Scouting.
Families can work together to collect food. Quorums can work together to collect food. Young Women can work together to collect food.
We’ve planned our food drive for early next year and I’ll let you know how it’s working out. In the meantime, I’d love advice if you’ve done something like this!