It’s a food drive!
The Christie Street Project is a charitable endeavor created by myself and my husband, Allen Feltman, in the fall of 2020. We collect food from private individuals and donate it to our local food pantry.
On the way to my local supermarket one day, I was quite surprised by the number of people standing patiently in line at a nearby food bank, waiting for bags of food. The line stretched out of the parking lot and out onto the sidewalk, snaking around the block. Men, women and children stood quietly in the brisk autumn wind, hoping for enough food to make it through the week.
To be clear, the Christie Street Project is not a 501(c)(3) charity. It is, rather, an impromptu grass-roots response to a problem that isn’t going away any time soon. We decided that small, highly targeted food drives could make a difference in the lives of hungry people.
For the first food drive, we passed out fliers up and down our street to about 50 houses. The response was astounding! We had enough food to fill several bags. People want to help; they just don’t know how.
Subsequent food drives have had similar success. Sometimes we pass out fliers on one or two streets here in our town; other times, we post a message on our personal Facebook pages explaining what we are collecting, and our local friends leave boxes and cans of food on our front steps. I have offered “concierge service” to my church group; they sent me checks and I did the food shopping for them.
The Christie Street Project encourages people to hold their own food drives! If you think you couldn’t possibly, that it’s just too much work and you are too busy, try this: have a limited, manageable food drive on just your block, or only in your apartment building. Due to Covid, this is 100% contact-free, with people dropping off food outside of your door. You will be surprised at how much food people will donate.
Remember, two or three bags of food might not look like much to you, but to a single mother with three growing children and a shrinking paycheck, it could make all of the difference. No one wants to send their children to bed hungry.
For your own food drive, first you will need an announcement of some kind, whether that’s an email to your friends, a message on your Facebook page, or fliers printed out and placed in mailboxes up and down your street.
Feel free to use our flier as a starting point. You can make whatever changes you want. Fill in your own name and address, the name of the food pantry where you will take the donations, etc. Print some copies and leave them in your apartment building’s lobby. Or email the text of the announcement to your friends. The food you collect will go directly to the kitchen tables of hungry people, children grateful for cereal before school, elders relieved to have canned soup for lunch, working parents grateful for rice and beans, cans of tuna, pasta and sauce.
Go ahead, be somebody’s hero.