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How to host a food drive dinner party

Aimee Fortney is “Not the Perfect Cook.” Retiring at age 31 as a bilingual political consultant, Aimee is now a cookbook author, blogger, recipe developer and inspirational food lover, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband a...

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?
Food drive

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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