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Volunteering Goes Virtual

When you hear “Food Drive” it may bring to mind rummaging through the pantry to find items you had jammed in the back such as jars of sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, or boxes of pasta dinners to haul into school, work or church for the collection boxes. In the face of natural disasters and other obstacles like COVID-19, which has made it difficult to collect food donations in person, virtual food drives have become an often-preferred option that allows food banks to collect funds or specific items of need online.

Many food banks prefer virtual food drives over traditional food drives for a variety of reasons. According to Feeding America, which started offering the option to host a virtual food drive during the height of the pandemic, food banks can typically purchase food for much lower than what people would typically pay at a grocery store. Additionally, sorting and inspecting donated food items can take a lot of time, energy, and resources. Virtual food drives help food banks allocate those valuable assets elsewhere.

Virtual food drives also offer the advantage of requesting most-needed items for the food bank. According to Patrick O’Neill, the CEO of Amp Your Good, donors typically give 25 to 30 pounds of food when donating virtually. Donations tend to be less when the food must be physically transported to a food drive.

This November, in an effort to give back to the community and help those in need, Flagship is hosting its second virtual Food Drive in support of Feeding America, with the goal of raising $10,000 for community food banks relative to the company’s office locations in Chadds Ford, PA; Coppell, TX; and Tempe, AZ. Flagship also plans to donate $5,000 to the food bank that receives the most donations, along with $3,000 to the second place site food bank, and $1,000 to the third place site food bank.

The company’s first virtual Food Drive hosted in May of 2021 was Flagship’s most successful to date, with the organization raising a total of 6,542 pounds of food, or approximately 5,500 meals, to feed people throughout the nation.

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