How to start a feed the fight effort in your community
Feed the Fight began as a Washington, DC neighborhood effort to provide business to local restaurants and support healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. It is now having an impact across the Washington, D.C. region, and is expanding to provide food to first responders like local firefighters, police and EMS personnel. We have had lots of interest in starting a similar program in other communities. We hope the information below provides you advice on how to get started.
HOW DO I START?
Feed the Fight started initially with an email to friends and family. It was that simple. One central person solicited contributions from friends and neighbors, and started the project with those initial donations.
HOW DO DONORS GET A TAX DEDUCTION AND HANDLE ADMINISTRATION?
In order for donors to take a charitable donation deduction, the funds have to go through an approved 501(c)(3) organization.
Within days of starting this project, the Community Foundation of Greater Washington agreed to host the project as a “Fiscal Sponsorship.” We recommend that you contact your local community foundation – with a simple Google search like “Community Foundation CITY NAME.”
The Community Foundation of Greater Washington set up a donation form, a friend of the founder agreed to be the fund’s “advisor,” and we purchased the domain name feedthefight.org and directed it to the donation page the Community Foundation created for our project.
We hourly track incoming donations through an online portal created by the Community Foundation, and volunteers when authorized charge the food to their personal credit cards, and submit itemized receipts to the “fund” for reimbursement.
HOW DO YOU PICK THE RESTAURANTS?
Feed the Fight purposely contacted locally owned restaurants (no national chains) to purchase meals. If you have a favorite local restaurant that is set up for carry-out meals, start there! Make sure they can offer individually packaged meals, not grab-and go. In order to maintain good health practices, buffet or platters are not recommended.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE TO DELIVER THE MEALS?
It is imperative that you establish a point of contact at each hospital or clinic or public safety agency you wish to delver to. Each facility may have different protocols for what they can accept and when, and some might not permit outside food into their facility.
HOW MUCH FOOD DO YOU ORDER?
Ideally, restaurants need larger and longer-term orders right now. They need volume. Get an accurate headcount for each facility. When coordinating with your healthcare or public safety facilities, try to develop a schedule so the restaurants have orders to fill over time. Also, make sure the restaurants have the orders 24-48 hours in advance so they can have the necessary food and staff in their kitchens.
HOW DO I SPREAD THE WORD?
Feed the Fight picked up steam via word of mouth. Once it got bigger, we established an Instagram and Facebook page to promote awareness. Then a volunteer web designer built a webpage to centralize our donations.
CAN I USE THE NAME “FEED THE FIGHT” IN MY COMMUNITY?
Yes! Feed the Fight efforts have been established in several other cities across the US.
ABOUT FEED THE FIGHT
All donations to Feed the Fight Kalamazoo are tax-deductible. Feed the Fight Kalamazoo operates under the fiduciary umbrella of Colleagues International, a Kalamazoo-based citizen diplomacy organization and 501(c)(3) non-profit. To learn more about Feed the Fight Kalamazoo, please click here. To learn more about Colleagues International, please visit cikalamazoo.org