Food Project of EA » Collect Food

Collect Food – Become a Neighborhood Coordinator

If you think you’d like to help by becoming a Neighborhood Coordinator and picking up food once every two months, you probably have some questions. We hope we’ve answered them below!

If, after reading about the responsibilities of a Neighborhood Coordinator, you decide you’d like to sign up to become one, please email:

  1. What does a Neighborhood Coordinator (NC) do? It’s amazingly simple. You just organize a small group of neighbors to be Food Donors. Each donor gets a reusable Food Project bag to store food in. Every two months you pick up their full bag, leave them an empty one, and bring all the bags you collect to the Food Bank, where representatives receive and sort it. You also send out a few reminders to your Donors during the 2 months, so they don’t forget the pickup date. That’s all there is to it!
  2. How much food will people donate? We suggest that Donors buy one extra nonperishable food item each week when they go to the supermarket, but it’s really up to them. Some folks will donate a lot, some a little. The amount is not important — as long as they’re participating, the EA Food Project is a success.
  3. How much time does being an NC involve? Only a few hours a month! You might need to put a little more time in at the beginning, when you’re building your neighborhood. But it’s a surprisingly small time commitment, considering how big a difference you’ll be making.
  4. How do I pick the area that’s MY neighborhood? Within some limitsyour “neighborhood” is wherever you say it is, and it’s as big or small as you want it to be. It can be a few houses, a whole street, or several blocks. The most important thing is for you to feel comfortable with the area you pick. One of the benefits of being an NC is that you’ll wind up with a better sense of where you live and who your neighbors are. So pick an area that you want to know better. If you want, you can start small and expand your neighborhood over time.
  5. How do I build a Neighborhood? Two ways: Ask neighbors you already know to join the Food Project, and/or canvass your neighborhood. Most NCs start by asking their nearby friends and acquaintances. When they’re ready, they start knocking on a few doors — which is a great way to get to know neighbors. Of course, for some people canvassing can be a bit scary at first. So we’ve got a handbook, a script you can use, printed materials, answers to frequently asked questions, and a lot more.  When you’re done with the training, you’ll have some neighborhood Food Donors signed up, plus a sense of success. As the Food Project gets better known, canvassing will get easier — people will actually be waiting for you to invite them to join.
  6. When is Pickup Day? Our official pickup day is the 2nd Saturday of each even month (Feb. April. June, etc.). But the EA Food Project is set up to give you as much freedom as possible. If you’ll be out of town on the official pickup day, or prefer to do it the week before or after, you can work that out with your Food Donors. All we ask is that you keep us informed.
  7. What happens on Pickup Day? Each Food Donor puts their green food bag out by his or her front door. You pick up each bag, leave an empty one and a “Thank-you” card (which we’ll supply), and take the food to the Food Bank of East Alabama. When you deliver your food on our official pickup day, Food Bank volunteers or staff will be there to accept, weigh, and sort it. When we get a total weight for the entire pickup, we’ll let you know so you can let your Food Donors know how much of an impact the Food Project, and their work, is having.

That’s it. As you meet more neighbors and other NCs, your sense of community will grow, and it will add as much to your life as you will be adding to others’ lives. It’s something to look forward to.

We would love to hear from you! Please email