Volunteer Margie Feldman recently mobilized a successful food drive at Coral Lakes, the large 55+ community where she lives with her husband Michael. Her efforts brought in much needed donations, replenishing the shelves of Alpert JFS kosher food pantries in both West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach.

But with the steady increase in requests for food from young families to homebound seniors, Margie encourages more individuals to step up. “There’s a crucial demand for food in the community, and we really need more people to help,” she says.

Here Margie shares five essential tips for getting your own food drive off and running:

1. Target A Specific Community

Coral Lakes is a large community with many special interest groups and clubs. The same could be said for homeowner’s associations, schools, temples, or churches. Margie suggests targeting one that focuses on social awareness. See if you can get on the agenda at one of their meetings to announce the food drive.

2. Communicate Clearly

Margie developed a 30-second pitch or elevator speech that she used whenever she spoke to groups. Working with staff at Alpert JFS, she developed flyers and signage for the collection bins with a consistent message. Encourage others to spread the word through their networks on social media or via email communication.

3. Make It Time Sensitive

Nothing motivates more than a deadline. Margie suggests limiting the time frame of a food drive to about a week. It keeps the momentum and excitement alive.

4. Easy Access Collection Points

Keep collection bins in easy-to-access, temperature-controlled locations. Even though you’re mostly collecting non-perishables, you don’t want your bins outside, especially in the Florida summer heat!

5. Liaison with Alpert JFS staff

Margie notes that it’s important to stay in close contact with Belinda Lasky, Director of Volunteer Leadership at Alpert JFS, who currently manages the pantry operations. Keep Belinda informed about how the drive is progressing. You’ll also make arrangements with her for delivery.

If you are interested is conducting a food drive to benefit the kosher food pantries at Alpert JFS, please contact Belinda Lasky, Director of Volunteer Leadership at (561) 713-1893 or [email protected].

Thanks to an army of dedicated volunteers, 378 people received kosher food baskets during Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving in the last year, and each month, 50 young families and seniors receive household essentials from the kosher food pantries at Alpert JFS. We also were able to deliver 400 freshly prepared holiday meals to 100 Holocaust survivors and other seniors.

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