One Philadelphia website is bringing food drives back into style, making it possible for potential donors to hold a drive without all the difficult physical labor. Philabundance.org has launched a program called The Virtual Food Drive. On the site, groups of people can sign up to donate “food” or join a preexisting cause.
Charity-minded individuals can sign up for the drive, encouraging people not to buy them gifts—instead purchasing donations of food from the online charity. “It’s a really fun way for people to fight hunger,” says Marlo DelSordo, who is spokeswoman for Philabundance. “And it’s also a way to familiarize people with what’s really needed in the community.”
Philabundance has seen a steady decline in the amount of donations in the past three years. That, coupled with nearly a 100 percent growth in the need for food, is part of what has driven this change in accessibility and ease.
“The idea is to get as many people on board, because collectively that donation will be larger and the impact will be larger,” says DelSordo. Charitable involvement is often stronger in groups, where people can encourage others to help. Sometimes a gentle reminder and an easy solution is all that is needed to get the collective philanthropic spirit growing.
“Food” donors can add certain foods to their cart, virtually shopping for food items they would have purchased at the store for the drive had they done so in person. The marketplace items are set up to reflect market price, but often those dollars can be stretched even further once translated.