Food Drive Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a typical food drive last?

Food drives with definitive beginning and ending dates work best. Your organization is unique, so we’ll adapt our schedules to accommodate the food drive that fits you best.

If you have a special event coming up, a one-day food drive is a great way to add a community component to it. A weeklong competition between classes or departments often works well. Retail locations may give customers a period of months to bring cans in on their next visit.

Visit our Food Drive page to find the type of food drive that best fits your needs. From DIY Drives, to Community Food Drives, and even Virtual Food Drives (our greenest option), there is something for everybody.

How big are the barrels?

Our Food Drive barrels are three feet high, and when empty, they weigh 25 lbs. When full, they weigh up to 150-200 lbs. They’ll fit in the back seat of most cars.

Our transportation bandwidth is at full capacity delivering food to our partner agencies and food distributions. We can only drop off barrels and pick them up for food drives which can guarantee 400 lbs. of food or more (3-4 barrels worth) of nutritious food. Visit our Food Drive page for different kinds of Food Drives.

What materials can the Food Bank provide?

We offer paper grocery bags if donors commit to collect at least 400 lbs. of food. You can request them when you sign up. Please feel free to use your own containers (e.g., clean boxes, new garbage cans) and print your own posters or flyers to help the Food Bank stretch our limited resources. Download and print a poster to promote your food drive or download our logo to make your own.

What foods are most needed?

We emphasize nutritious, non-perishable items such as peanut butter, low-sodium soups, and canned meat and fish. See the food our community loves. Please remember that we cannot accept donations of food in glass jars, perishable food, frozen food, fresh produce, alcohol, soda and baby food or formula, and non-food items.

Does the Food Bank deliver and/or pick up barrels?

Please, visit our Food Drive page  for how the different types of food drives work.

I have a small amount of food I would like to drop off for the Food Bank. Where can I go?

Please, visit our Food Drive page for drop-off locations.

Can the Food Bank weigh my donation?

Due to our ongoing emergency response and Holiday distribution efforts we unfortunately don’t have the resources to weigh individual food drive contributions. If you are hosting a food drive competition or otherwise need the weight of your contribution, we kindly ask that you weigh the donation yourself at the end of your drive. Thank you for your understanding!

I am part of an organization with multiples sites – can we do a food drive at all locations?

Please contact Katherine Avila at for details.

How can we get more involved?

The most precious resource for the Food Bank are monetary donations – because of our bulk buying power and vast purchasing network, we can turn every $1 donation into 2 meals. Start a Virtual Food Drive at to harness our buying power and do our shopping for us!

Another great way to get involved is volunteering at our warehouse or at a food distribution.

Visit our volunteer page to learn more! If you would like a Food Bank staff member to join your meeting and give a presentation about hunger in our community, or to help you kick off your food drive, please contact us at or (510) 635-6336 ext. 318.

Thank you for your support!
For more information
: please contact our Food Drive Team at or 1-510-635-3663 ext. 318.