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Fighting hunger: How to recognize National Food Bank Day at work

Fighting hunger: How to recognize National Food Bank Day at work

National Food Bank Day occurs every year on the first Friday of September. This annual event encourages people to support and donate to their local food banks. While ending food insecurity is a worthy cause to support all year long, National Food Bank Day is a great way to gather together to work toward this shared goal. If you want to take part in National Food Bank Day this year, consider ways you can get involved in your workplace. Here are some ideas to recognize this annual event and share helpful information with your coworkers, team members, or managers.

Importance of recognizing National Food Bank Day at work

Hunger exists in every community in the United States, according to the nonprofit organization Feeding America. That means people in your local community struggle to afford food, whether due to illness, unemployment, low-wage jobs, or financial emergencies. You can make a real difference to people living in your community by recognizing National Food Bank Day at work and encouraging your coworkers to participate in this annual event. It's a fantastic way for people in your office to come together and support a good cause that can have a substantial impact on your neighbors.

How to recognize National Food Bank Day at work

Whether you're an entry-level employee or an upper-level manager, there are plenty of ways you can recognize National Food Bank Day at work. At the same time, you can actively encourage your coworkers and team members to participate with you, helping to raise more awareness and collect more donations on this important day. Here are some ways to recognize National Food Bank Day in your office.

Host a food donation drive

Volunteer to host a food donation drive in your workplace for National Food Bank Day. Start by researching food banks in your area or reaching out to other local organizations, such as a rotary group, to ask if they can recommend a local food bank. Contact the food bank you want to support and ask about standard procedures or policies it may have for donations. Some food banks may even have helpful resources or suggestions to guide your planning.

Once you choose a food bank to support, form a committee to plan the food drive. Invite people from all departments to be on the committee and submit their ideas. Have an initial meeting to set a goal for the food drive and determine the logistics, such as the duration of the event. Consider where you can place food donation bins for the highest impact, such as outside of the break room, in the cafeteria, or at the front desk.

After you plan the drive, promote it within the office. Send out company-wide emails in the weeks and days leading up to the drive. Place fliers in visible areas such as restrooms and break rooms. Make sure you include everything people need to know about the drive, including when it's taking place, where they can donate food, and what types of items they can donate.

Finally, make a plan to deliver the donated items at the end of the food drive. It may be a fun idea to deliver the donations as a group to the food bank on National Food Bank Day. Take pictures to share with the rest of the office and send a final email with the total donation amount and a thank-you note to everyone who participated.

Donate to a corporate fundraiser

If your office hosts a corporate fundraiser for a local food bank, donate to the cause to show your support. On the fundraising page, you may be able to add a personal message about your reasons for donating. You can also spread the word about the fundraiser to your coworkers and share why you believe in working to end food insecurity. If your office doesn't host a fundraiser for National Food Bank Day, consider asking a manager or department leader if the company may want to host one this year to raise donations for a worthy cause.

Volunteer at a food bank as a group

Many food banks rely on volunteers, so take the initiative to organize a time to volunteer with your coworkers at a local food bank. You can schedule the volunteer opportunity on a weekend so more people can participate or, if your company allows, on National Food Bank Day to honor the event. Work with a food bank in your community to learn about volunteer opportunities. For example, a food bank may ask your group to sort donations, distribute food, or deliver meals.

Facts to share with coworkers about National Food Bank Day

Communicating with your colleagues about National Food Bank Day is one way you can contribute to this important cause. By spreading the word about this day, you can inform people about hunger in your community and show them how to actively participate to end food insecurity. Here are some facts about the day that you can share with others at work.

When is National Food Bank Day?

National Food Bank Day is held each year on the first Friday of September. Here are the upcoming dates for the day over the next few years:

  • 2023: September 1
  • 2024: September 6
  • 2025: September 5
  • 2026: September 4

"By spreading the word about this day, you can inform people about hunger in your community and show them how to actively participate to end food insecurity."

What is a food bank?

A food bank is a nonprofit that collects food for other organizations, such as soup kitchens and shelters. It's like a food pantry, except a food bank doesn't distribute food directly to people. Food banks often work with restaurants and grocery stores to collect excess food and then give it to organizations that help people in need.

How did National Food Bank Day originate?

According to National Day Archives, St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix founded National Food Bank Day. Known as the world's first food bank, St. Mary's established National Food Bank Day in 2017 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Today, the event serves as a reminder to support local food banks as part of the larger goal to eliminate food insecurity in communities across the United States.

What are some statistics about food insecurity in the United States?

Here are some statistics from Feeding America about food insecurity and hunger in the United States that you can share with coworkers and team members:

  • There are 34 million people experiencing food insecurity in the United States, including 9 million children.
  • Every county in the country has residents experiencing food insecurity.
  • Rural counties have a disproportionate number of people experiencing food insecurity. Though they make up 63% of all U.S. counties, they represent 87% of counties with the highest rates of food insecurity.
  • Black people are nearly three times as likely to experience hunger as white people.

As National Food Bank Day approaches, consider some ways you can work together with your colleagues to take part in this worthy event. Make plans to host a food drive, donate to a company fundraiser, or volunteer together at a local food bank in your community. Contributing to a good cause in the workplace can help you increase your job satisfaction and find meaning in your role. If you're looking for a new position at a workplace that prioritizes community engagement and volunteerism, upload a resume to apply for jobs that align with your core values.

More tips for recognizing worthy causes at work

Women's History Month, which takes place in March, is a great time to acknowledge the impacts and achievements of women in the workplace.

Celebrate National Pride Month each June with some ideas to support diversity and inclusion.

In February, find ways to observe Black History Month by volunteering, making donations, or organizing an inclusive event.