Food Drives

Host the best food drive

Food drives are essential in helping Food Share provide food for our 160+ agency partners and programs.  They are run by organizations, clubs, schools, neighborhoods, corporations, and individuals and are imperative to helping us feed the hungry of Ventura County.

Anyone can host a food drive and Food Share offers support and tools to host one. Although holidays are the most popular time of year to hold food drives, hunger is year round and we encourage you to participate any time! It’s easy to hold a food drive to help the hungry and we have the resources to assist you!

Top 5 Most Needed Food Items

  • Canned protein (tuna, chicken, salmon)
  • Beans (dry and canned)
  • Rice (in 1lb-2lb bags or mixes)
  • Cereal
  • Peanut butter

Food Drive Toolkit

Hosting a food drive for your school, organization, neighborhood, church, club, event, and/or corporation is easy with the help of our food drive toolkit! It’s great way to engage your community and provide much needed help for the hungry children, seniors and families of Ventura County. Whether it is big or small, we encourage you to get started! Food Share can provide you with collection barrels and assistance in getting started.


Successful food drives require enthusiastic leaders. Get people involved early to develop creative ideas, raise awareness, and increase participation levels. Follow these steps to ensure your food drive is a stunning success!


Setting a goal is a great way to encourage teamwork and provide contributors with a sense of accomplishment. Make goals realistic and easy to understand. For example, you could set a goal to collect 200 lbs of food (1 can of food is approximately 1 lb.).


Use incentives to encourage participation. Start an internal competition between departments, classes, or coworkers, to see who can raise the most donations, and/or reward participants with prizes for their contributions. For example, reward a winning team with a pizza party.


Encourage financial contributions. Participants are welcome to donate money in lieu of food. Remember, for every $1 donated, Food Share can purchase $5.00 worth of nutritious food for our friends in need!


Start and end dates, your method of collection, and whether you will be picking up barrels and dropping off food drive donations yourself, or whether you will need us to deliver barrels and pick up food donations from your address.


Make it a creative and fun food drive: incorporate competitions and themes, decorate boxes/food barrels and place them in strategic locations where they are in public view, and use fliers to advertise your event. Download your food drive poster here!


Maintain momentum by keeping participants updated about the food drive. Send out emails announcing the food drive, post progress charts, and keep participants informed with regular competition updates. Bask in the success of your food drive! Your donations will provide food to our friends and families in need.


Take the time to thank everyone who participated. Give prizes to top teams, and send thank you notes to all participants. Publicize your success by letting the community know the total amount of food you collected and how many meals your food drive will provide.

Food Drive F.A.Q.

Who can host a food drive?

Anyone can host a food drive! All that is required is leadership and dedication. Individuals, corporations, religious organizations, clubs, schools, and any other organization that can garner support, are welcome to participate.

How do I host a food drive?

Hosting a food drive is easy! First, set up a committee of team leaders and get any necessary approvals from management or administration for your food drive. Then just register your food drive using our online registration form. The registration form will provide us with all of the required information about your food drive so you can get started right away.

When is the best time to hold a food drive?

People go hungry every day of the year. While our biggest food drive event takes place during the holidays, we encourage groups to host food drives throughout the year, to keep our supplies well-stocked. You can start your food drive whenever you would like – just let us know your start and end dates on the registration form.

How long should my food drive last?

Part of organizing a food drive is setting a definite start and end date, but Food Share has no restrictions on how long or short your food drive lasts.

What does Food Share provide for my Food Drive?

Food Share provides yellow barrels to help collect the food. We encourage you to pick up barrels at our Food Share office located at 4156 Southbank Road in Oxnard. Special arrangements can be made for larger food drives for barrel drop off and pick up. You may also use our logo to help promote the food drive. The approved use logo is below.

How much time before my food drive do I need to contact you?

Food Share requests that you give three or more days notice before your food drive. Our drivers have a regular scheduled route and do barrel delivered in between.

Can I use my own boxes for food donations?

Yes, if you would like to use your own boxes, you can use those in lieu of our barrels. Our goal is to make your food drive as easy and convenient for you as possible.

Can I drop off food donations at your warehouse?

Yes! If you would rather drop off the food yourself, come to Food Share anytime Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. at our office on 4156 Southbank Road, Oxnard, CA 93036

Whether you are picking up and dropping off yourself, or having one of our trucks pick up and drop off, it is important to provide this information on your registration form.

What items should people donate? What are the most needed items?

Food Share always needs a variety of nonperishable goods. These include canned fruits and vegetables, beans, canned meats, dry pasta, and grains.

We encourage donations of nutritious core food staples and protein food items over food items such as soda, cookies, candies and junk food. Food Share is dedicated to providing healthy food for our hungry friends.

Here is a list of most needed food items:

  • Canned proteins (tuna, ham, salmon and chicken)
  • Canned soup
  • Canned or dried fruits
  • Canned vegetables
  • Dried beans, rice and cereal
  • Peanut butter (and jelly)
  • Pasta and rice

We prefer plastic containers and pop top cans. Unfortunately, we cannot accept home canned or baked products.

Do you accept household items and non-food products?

To a certain degree, yes. Things such as diapers, and hygienic products we accept, but please keep all non-food items separate from the food items. We do NOT accept: pet food, chemicals, soda, candy, or energy drinks.

Can people donate money instead of food?

Yes. For every dollar donated, Food Share can procure $5 worth of nutritious food for our friends in need. Please visit

Will you tell us how much food we donated?

Yes. Food Share weighs everything that comes in and out of the warehouse, so once your food drive is over, we will weigh all of your filled barrels and let you know how much food you contributed.

Jess Hug