Harvest season – October 1 through January 15 – is an especially busy time at the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ). That’s when organizations, businesses, and individuals actively share in our mission by conducting food drives that enable us to make the holidays more special for struggling families. This year, about 175 harvest season drives will be organized on our behalf and they’re expected to generate about 90,000 pounds in food donations. Three SJ businesses conducting food drives are using decidedly different approaches to get the job done.
Foley Chiropractic in Bellmawr NJ runs what it calls a New Patient Food Drive, a campaign it promotes to town residents via a mass mailing. First-time clients who bring five or more non-perishable food items to their first office visit qualify for a certificate that entitles them to a complimentary consultation and exam. Foley Chiropractic Office Manager Erika Foley says the innovative approach produces a win-win-win.
“We are able to reward patients, build our practice, and give back to the community simultaneously.”
stated Foley, who has overseen the New Patient food drive through its first three years. “Our company is rooted in South Jersey and really looks for ways like this to make a difference in our backyard.”
Meanwhile, Campbell Soup Company took a virtual approach. Organizers created an Online Turkey Drive that solicited employee donations to be used solely for purchasing holiday meals for struggling families. The Turkey Drive donation page was promoted through email blasts, digital signage throughout Campbell’s facility, and word of mouth. The drive generated $1,000 in contributions.
“We have typically held holiday fundraisers where colleagues send checks and drop off cash,” noted Karen Rogers, an executive assistant at Campbell’s who chaired the Turkey Drive. “A virtual drive just makes participation easier for everyone, and gives me the ability to track progress in real-time.”
Burns Buick GMC Hyundai is taking a more traditional approach, directing food collection drives at their two locations in the Marlton area, November 5 through December 20. The auto dealership is promoting the event heavily to its extensive customer base through emails, automated calls (including one from former Philadelphia Eagles star Ron Jaworski), social media, showroom posters, and local flyers. One hundred and fifty employees are also contributing to the campaign.
Business Development Manager Diane Druss says that Burns Buick GMC Hyundai was extremely pleased to work alongside FBSJ for the first time. “Our company has long supported a variety of great causes in the Marlton area as well as regional and national organizations,” she stated.
“The more I learned about FBSJ and the effort behind their mission, it just made sense for Burns to become a part of it.”