Rotary Foodbank Drive 2017

For the Grande Prairie and Area Salvation Army Foodbank

History –
For over 20 years the Rotary Clubs of Grande Prairie have been conducting an annual campaign to collect food for the Grande Prairie and area Salvation Army Foodbank. It is a door to door campaign to ask for donations of food and items necessary to daily living for those in need. Over the years it has grown substantially and now includes over 600 volunteers canvassing the entire city of Grande Prairie as well as nearby county residents. The 2016 drive saw a record 46.5 tons of food donated and stored within 3 hours. It has become the largest foodbank drive of its kind in Canada.
Logistics –
The city of Grande Prairie, as well as the surrounding areas, are divided into 120 routes. Each route is mapped and assigned to a team of 4-6 people. The teams are made up of Rotarians, community organizations, corporation employees, local sports teams, youth organizations and community members at large who just wish to help. The teams provide their own transportation and are dispatched with collection boxes and bags as well as signage to identify themselves. The routes take an average of 2 hours to complete. When the route is covered, the team returns to the warehouse to unload the food and enjoy a barbeque. The drive occurs on the second Tuesday of September. It begins with dispatch between 5:00 and 5:30 PM and wraps up by 8:30 PM with the barbeque.
Kickoff –
A media kickoff event is held a few days before the drive itself. It is designed with fun in mind and to create awareness for the upcoming door to door campaign. The local businesses and community are encouraged to sponsor a grocery cart to be filled with $300 worth of groceries. The carts and the groceries are then assembled at a fieldhouse along with; media, celebrities, sponsors and students from a local high school. The food is supplied by a local grocery chain and is set out in displays around the field house. Teams of 5 persons per team are made up from those assembled and assigned to a sponsored cart. Media members, sponsors and celebrities are encouraged to be the 5th person and driver of each team. Four teams per heat are dispatched from a start line with the objective for each to complete a route that includes stops at several food stations. In order to receive the food from each station each team must perform a fun but challenging task. The times are recorded for each team, with penalties assigned for unperformed tasks. The team with the lowest time, including penalties, will be declared the winner of the event. In actuality the true winner is the foodbank who will receive the food from each cart.

The 2016 media kickoff event included over 30 teams and through cart sponsorship, supplied the foodbank with over $9,000 worth of food. Our goal this year is to have 50 teams and supply $15,000 worth of food.

The 2017 kickoff will be held on September 7, between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM in the field house at the Eastlink Centre. The door to door campaign will be held September 12, with team dispatching beginning at 5:00 PM from the D-Coy armory. Please pre-register your teams on our website at www.gpfooddrive.ca. We encourage participants for both events to wear appropriate foot wear.

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