Break your group into several teams. Depending on your neighborhood, teams can walk or be driven. Give them a list of non-perishable food items to find with point values assigned to each item (see below). Students collect items off the list. Obviously the team that has the most points wins. However, it is also a service event. All food collected is then donated to your local food pantry.
It really is best to call your food pantry, or the place you are donating the food to. They often have specific items that are needed more than others. Also it's good to have them draft a letter saying that the Òfood huntÓ is a legitimate activity. Have as many students as possible actually deliver the food to the pantry.
When doing the hunt, you need to rely on what people have in their cupboards. The challenge is really to accumulate the most points while collecting food for the shelter.
Candy 1 pt per bag or bar
Sugary snacks 2 pts
(cookies, chips, fruit flavored snacks, Little Debbie type snacks)
Healthy snacks 5 pts
(Real fruit snacks, graham crackers, granola bars, etc.)
Box dinners 5 pts
(including mac-n-cheese, Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni)
Oatmeal 5 pts
Pasta 5 pts
(noodles, elbow macaroni, etc.)
Dry cereal 10 pts
Crackers 10 pts
Spices 10 pts
Paper goods 10 pts
(t.p., napkins, paper towels, paper plates, cups, etc.)
Condiments 15 pts
(mayonnaise, catsup, mustard, etc.)
Small cans or jars 15 pts
(tuna, Spam, peanut butter, jelly, jam, pickles, vegetables, fruits, etc.)
Large cans or jars 20 pts
(soups, vegetables, fruits, meats, olives, etc.)
Cooking products 20 pts
(cooking oil, spray, sugar, flour, etc.)
Toiletries 20 pts
(deodorant, soap, laundry and dish detergents, etc.)
Baby products 20 pts
(diapers, wipes, formula, and other unopened baby products)
Finally, to be extremely helpful to the local food shelter, you might want to group similar items together. This will save them lots of time.
Idea by Trish Kapelke
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.