Host a Food & Fund Drive

Food and Fund Drives are a great way to get your company, organization, or group involved in the fight against hunger throughout northern Nevada and northeast California.

Important 2023 update

We are currently experiencing a significant driver shortage at our facility.  We appreciate your help in conserving our resources for food distributions and program services.  Due to the high demand of food drive requests and our main  priority being our daily food programs and distributions, we cannot guarantee that pick-up and drop-off dates will be completed on the date(s) requested.  The good news is that you can help!  Please help our food drive program be as successful as possible by helping us with the following:

  • If possible, please help us by picking up your barrels and dropping off your food donations.  Barrels can be picked up and donations dropped off right at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.  Interested in learning more about the Food Bank and how we work to serve more than 130,000 people every month?  Schedule a date/time to stop by, and we’d love to show you around a bit while you’re here!
  • For efficiency, when we do pick up food, we need to pick up full barrels.  We simply do not have the resources available to pick up nearly empty barrels.  If your food drive is taking more time than you thought just let us know that you need more time!  We offer food throughout the year and your donations will be utilized.  We appreciate your patience and your flexibility so very much!

Please remember that we do need your donations, and we appreciate them and you very much.  Thank you so much for your support and for your patience!

Food and Fund Drives benefiting the Food Bank

Each month, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada helps to feed more than 130,000 neighbors in need in our community, and food and monetary gifts donated by caring community members are a vital part of making that happen.

Food & Fund Drives have played an important role in collecting donations for food banks like Food Bank of Northern Nevada for decades. However, traditional food drives are changing as food pantries and other Food Bank partners continue to seek out fresh, more nutritious food for our neighbors facing hunger.

That’s where the Food Bank’s Virtual Food Drive comes in.

When you host a Virtual Food Drive for Food Bank of Northern Nevada, you are transforming $1 into 3 meals for hungry children, seniors, and families in our community. Better yet, your Virtual Drive will help put fresh foods including produce, dairy and meat, on the tables of those who need it most. The impact is incredible!

Every dollar and every pound of food count, so whether you choose to host a Virtual Food & Fund Drive or want to go the more traditional route, your donations will help us feed those experiencing need right here in our community.

two food drive options, one great impact

Register Your Food & Fund drive

Whether you decide to host a Virtual or Traditional Food & Fund Drive, the first step is the same.
Complete the Food Drive Form to get started, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

Quick Facts & Frequently Asked Questions

$1 or 3.6 lbs

equals 3 meals for our neighbors in need.

Most food drives are between

3-6 weeks long

The average food drive collects


The most successful food drives include


Canned Meals

Stews, Soups, Spaghetti/Ravioli (Low-Sodium Preferred)


Peanut Butter, Tuna, Salmon, Chicken, Dried or Canned Beans


Whole Grain Cereal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Pasta


Canned (No Salt Added and/or Low-Sodium Preferred)


Canned (in 100% Juice or Light Syrup), Dried Fruit, Applesauce (No Sugar Added), 100% Fruit Juice Boxes


Shelf Stable Milk

Baby & Kid Friendly

Formula, Infant Cereal, Baby Food, Granola Bars, Popcorn, Crackers

Getting Started with Your Traditional Food Drive

How can I start a Food Drive?
Please register your food drive with our form to get the barrel(s) delivered to you. Once you click submit, the form goes right to the inbox of our Event & Food Drive Coordinator, Jessica. She will get back to you within 1-5 days from when you submit the form.
How long should I host my food drive for?
You can host a food drive for as long or short of a time as you would like. That said, most food drives are scheduled to last for 3-6 weeks.
When do you need food the most?
February-August are great months to host a food drive. The holidays are a popular time for hosting drives, with more than half of all food drive donations received in November and December. As we move into spring and summer, donations tend to slow while we continue to serve more than 92,000 people each month.
When does your holiday food drive start?
The Food Bank needs food all year round, so there is no start or end date for food drives, even during the holidays.
What if I'd like to have a permanent, year-round food drive?
That’s wonderful! Please submit the Food Drive Form and indicate in the notes that you would like to keep the barrel all year.
What are the most-needed foods?
Access to nutritious food is vital for our neighbors who face hunger, and we ask that those donating food choose the most nutritious items available whenever possible. Please post this list to help your food donors determine what foods to donate.

  • Canned Meals: Stews, Soups, Spaghetti/Ravioli (Low-Sodium Preferred)
  • Protein: Peanut Butter, Tuna, Salmon, Chicken, Dried or Canned Beans
  • Grains: Whole Grain Cereal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Whole Grain Pasta
  • Fruits: Canned (Packed in 100% Juice or Light Syrup), Dried Fruit, Applesauce (No Sugar Added), 100% Fruit Juice Boxes
  • Vegetables: Canned (No Salt Added and/or Low-Sodium Preferred)
  • Dairy: Shelf Stable Milk
  • Kid-friendly Snacks: Granola Bars, Popcorn, Animal Crackers, Graham Crackers
  • Baby Products: Formula, Infant Cereal, Baby Food

Please encourage your donors to check expiration dates before donating food items.

What items can you accept? Are there any foods that I shouldn't donate?
For food drives, please donate only non-perishable foods. We CANNOT accept alcohol or alcoholic beverage mixers. Please encourage your donors to check expiration dates before donating food items and to avoid items in glass containers. There are ways to donate perishable food like fruits and vegetables, too. Please let us know if you’re interested in information about perishable food donations.
How do I donate money with our food drive?
Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to:
Food Bank of Northern Nevada
Attn: Jessica Vela
550 Italy Drive | Sparks, NV 89437

If you have a cash donation that needs to be collected, please contact Jessica Vela, and she’ll be happy to arrange to pick the donation up from your location.

Food Drive Collection Barrels

What days do you deliver barrels?
We deliver on Tuesdays and Thursdays most of the year. We deliver Monday – Friday starting mid-October through mid-January. We get a high number of Food Drive requests during the holiday season, and our trucks do fill up so be sure to get your form in early!
What time will my barrel arrive?
Our drivers make their own routes each morning, so we cannot guarantee a time. If you need notice before the driver drops off the barrel we can make a note for the driver to call you 30 minutes or an hour ahead of time. Please specify in the notes section when you register your food drive.
Can I pick up my barrel and/or drop off my food at the Food Bank? What are the days/times?
Absolutely. Please contact the Food Bank main line at (775) 331-3663 to let us know you are coming. We can receive food donations between 8am and 4pm at the back of our warehouse. We are located off USA Parkway at 550 Italy Drive in McCarran, NV. If you are interested in touring our facility and learning more about how your donation will be put to use, we would love to show you around when you drop off the food.
Can I pick up my food drive barrel in town?
Typically, barrels are not able to be picked up in town.

The exception to this is our annual Drive-By Holiday Food Drive Kick-Off event. This event is held in early November in the Southeast parking lot of Grand Sierra Resort. This is a quick, easy way to get barrels for your holiday food drive. Pre-register your drive to make things even easier. This year’s Holiday Food Drive Kick-Off will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

How big are the barrels?
Food drive collection barrels are approximately 3 feet tall and have a diameter of 22 inches. Each barrel holds 150-200 pounds of food.
My barrel is full. Can I get it emptied??
Please contact our Events & Food Drives Coordinator, Jessica Vela to let her know you need your barrel picked up or swapped out for an empty one. Please call when the barrel is 75% full so we have enough time to pick it up before it starts overflowing!

Please note, we swap out barrel(s) on Tuesdays and Thursdays most of the year. From mid-October to mid-January we swap barrels from Monday-Friday.

the ins and outs of food drives

Where can I drop off food in Reno/Sparks if I’m not hosting my own Food Drive?
All Goodwill locations (both stores and donation Xpress) in Reno and Sparks accept food on our behalf and we collect from them regularly. Please see our list of year-round food drives for other locations where you can drop off food. You’re also always more than welcome to drop your donations off right at the Food Bank during our regular office hours.
Do you have any advertising materials?
Feel free to download our logo for use in promoting your food drive. (Vertical Format | Horizontal Format) Please note: If you need more hi-resolution files of the logo, we’re happy to provide that to you. Contact Jessica Vela to request this.
Can I share my food drive on social media?
Please do! We find that the most successful food drives are ones where the host actively advertises the drive, and social media is a great way to spread the word. If you do share on social media, we’d love to see what you’re doing. Please consider tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And don’t forget to use our hashtag #iFightHunger.
How will I know how much food my drive collected?
Our Events & Food Drives Coordinator will send your total pounds and dollars raised to you via email once your food drive is over. Food drive pounds are usually processed within 1-2 days of the end of your drive (can be longer during the holiday season).
Can I get a receipt for my food or money donation?
Absolutely. You can download a receipt for your records here.

Contact Jessica Vela (331-3663 x156), Events & Food Drives Coordinator.