If you have ever stayed without a meal in a day because you couldn’t afford it, then chances are that you just might be able to relate with the fact that food is really essential to the human body. When one lacks the wherewithal to have a meal, it is so true that you might not be able to concentrate on the task you have at hand, as it is known that food fuels of the body.
There are several businesses that have sprung up as a result of wanting to bridge the gap of hunger amongst people all over the world. One of such businesses is the food Pantry. This is also known as a food bank. It is majorly non profitable venture run by an Organization that provides free food for the needy. The organization collect donations of non- perishable foods which they store in their food bank and redistribute it to people that doesn’t have much to eat.
With the high rate of hunger and poverty in the world today, you can start a Food Panty and reach out to thousands of people who will pay you with the gift of deep gratitude. This is a no holds barred article that discusses issues like; why you need to start a food Pantry today, and steps to starting a Food Pantry.
If you have a passion for the needy ones in your society, then it is needful for you to know that the food pantry venture is free to start, as you do not need a lot to pull things off. This is a very important task that you would be taking up, as you would b e contributing to fight against poverty, as well as help make the world a better place to live in.
Here are top tips on how to start your own food pantry.
Starting a Food Pantry – Business
1. Develop a Project Plan
The first step is to develop a plan of how your Food Pantry project will look like. That is how many hungry people you wish to reach out to every week, month and year. Also ask questions like; where will you store the food donations you receive from partner Organizations? Which State or country do you wish to reach out to? How do you intend sharing the food stuff? Will the people come to you, or will you ship out the food to them? All these are things that must be fixed before you kick off.
2. Apply For Tax Exemption
Since you are running a non profitable project, you will need to apply the 501(c) (3) for tax exemption for your Organization from the Internal Revenue Service. Do note that without this, your Organization will be deemed to be a profitable one and will be included in tax payment. Be sure to tidy this area up so that you aren’t found wanting by the appropriate authority in your country.
3. Put Together a Warehouse
You will need a warehouse where you can keep food donations you received from Organizations and private individuals. If you have enough space in your garage, that will be a good place to store these items. Ensure that you don’t receive perishable food items from people to avoid them spoiling away. If you don’t have a warehouse that will be big enough to contain the food donations, you can use part of the money donations you receive to rent a warehouse.
4. Contact Organizations for Donations
Many Organizations would be more than willing to support a food project to make the world a better place. Hence, you have to reach out to as many Organizations and discuss your project with them. Some Organizations may require you to present a project plan; that is why a project plan should be the first thing you should do. Your donations should not be limited to food alone; you can also receive money location to handle other logistics such as transportation and payment for warehouse. Some Organizations you can contact include; churches and other religious centres and business organizations. Remember to drop a valid address where all food stuffs will be sent.
5. Separate and Repackage Donations
After you notify these Organizations, you should start receiving food donations and money from various Organization and bodies; you will need to separate the items and arrange them into categories. Check for expiration dates, place food items with near expiration dates at the forefront so that you it will be amongst the first food items you share. There may be need to repackage some of the items; you will need to contact grocery owners to supply you with used packages.
6. Choose Dates for Distribution
After you have gathered enough food items to get started, you have to pick a date when you will distribute the food items. You may choose to do so once a week, bi weekly or once in a month distribution. If there are other Food Pantries around you, then you have to contact them when planning a date for your Food pantry so that your dates will no clash with their own dates.
7. Spread the Work
Everything should be ready at this stage to open the doors to your Food Pantry and start making distribution. You have to spread the word so that the needy can know that there is an existing Food Pantry where they can come to receive food Portions. You can advertise through fliers, and local newspapers, that is, if you wish to run the food Pantry in your location.
For people that wish to reach out to people in other continents like Africa; you can contact other non Profitable organizations that have branches in Africa or through the internet and inquire how you can take your food Pantry projects to the continent. You don’t need to personally visit the continent for your impact to be felt, you can ship the food items to them. Also consider war thorn zones, where hunger and poverty is the order of the day.