Food drive

Host a dinner party with a meaning

'Tis the season for giving, so why not host a dinner party with a purpose and give back?

Hosting a dinner party is always great fun, especially when you gather a room full of friends. When you host a dinner party with a meaning, a "food drive dinner party," your ability to give and give back is a double blessing. So how do you do it? How and where should you start?

Send out invitations that explain this is a dinner party with a cause

Because the holiday season is here, your guests will feel obligated to show up with a gift. Specifically explain on the invitation that this is a "food drive dinner party" and that you are asking guests to bring nonperishable food items to donate. People tend to be more generous during the holidays, so this is the perfect time to host a dinner party with a purpose.

Give statistics about hunger on your evite

Not everyone is aware of the staggering numbers of people who are hungry in our country. With a number in front of them, your guests will understand the need for getting involved in the food drive. One in six Americans faces hunger. Just $1 donated to Feeding America can equal eight meals. Even though food banks need donations, they can do so much more with money.

Setting the "stage" for your dinner party

Set an empty plate at the table as a reminder and a conversation starter about hunger in your community. Make orange giveaways, as orange is the reminder color for hunger. Print the facts on an orange place card for each person to take home: $1=4 meals or 1 in 6 Americans is hungry. List the name and address of a local food bank in your area, along with the days/hours they are open. (Perhaps you could all volunteer as a group.)

Brainstorm together at dinner

Discuss the facts. Together, great minds do great things. While enjoying one another's company at dinner, think of ways you can, together, form a team to fight hunger. Talk about backpack programs at schools and perhaps call local schools to see if they need volunteers to help assemble the backpacks. Backpack programs send children home with food for the weekend.

Check out these 5 food charities we love >>

Ideas to get you started

There are other ways to help. The need for monetary donations at food banks is very high. How can you and your friends hold fundraisers to raise the desperately needed funds? Talk to local business owners and ask them to donate a portion of their profits on a certain date, to local food banks. Ask your local liquor store to sell wines at cost to you, then you sell "tickets" for a wine tasting. All ticket money and any additional money raised at the wine tasting would go directly to the food bank. Go without coffee shop visits for a week, then donate that amount to a local food bank.

More ways to fight hunger

8 Ways you can help fight hunger
Fighting hunger in America: How you can help
Fighting hunger is no game


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Comments on "How to host a food drive dinner party"

Aimee Fortney December 10, 2012 | 5:00 PM

Thank you all for your lovely comments! I am excited to see others working together to give back. To michelle yarbrough, I am happy to share some recipes and tips with you, how you can cook the items you received from a food bank for your Christmas dinner. Feel free to check out my website, www.nottheperfectcook for some easy recipes and ideas for inspiration, or email me, directly at nottheperfectcook@gmail and tell me what items you have, and I would be more than happy to share some ideas/recipes! Merry Christmas! - Aimee Fortney

michelle yarbrough December 10, 2012 | 12:38 PM

I actually thought this was going to be 'how to feed my family' WITH the things we got from the local food bank for a Christmas dinner. Sigh.

Katie Beth December 08, 2012 | 3:53 PM

As someone who struggled as a single mom when I was divorced, it helped so much when people helped me. I worked my tail off, but daycare, house payments, car payments, insurance, doctors bills and just life was overwhelming. I always wanted to find a way to give back. I have married a wonderful man who has adopted my child as his own and I love his as my own. This Christmas, we decided to copy this idea. We are having friends over tonight and we are putting our heads together to help food banks. Thank you for bringing awareness to such a great need. I watch you on TV all of the time and you always inspire me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. I was once one of those people in need. Keep up the great work.

Lauren December 07, 2012 | 8:06 AM

This is a great idea, especially around the holidays. I'm sure people would be more than willing to help out and show up! It's important to remember the real reason for the season.

Mya December 06, 2012 | 2:56 PM

I saw you on The Better Show last month. Just now I clicked on this from your Facebook fan page and I have to tell you that this made me cry. This is a great idea and I think it gives me a reason to clean and turn my little dining room into a party room in a couple of weeks to do this with my friends. The perfect gift idea that we all can do, and I think I will donate the money I would have been using at the coffee shop before your segments taught me to make my favorites at home. Really am glad I saw you on tv that morning. You have a good heart. Happy Holidays to you.

Rachael December 06, 2012 | 11:56 AM

Great article! I love the idea of throwing a party with a purpose. As we splurge on ourselves this holiday season it is important not to forget about our neighbors in need. I really like the idea of creating invites with statistics written on them. Statistics really help to put things in perspective and get the point across. Thanks!

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