Each year, groups such as companies, schools, clubs, faith groups, and organizations of all backgrounds volunteer to collect food and household items to Sister Carmen. We couldn’t serve our community without them—and you!
With your generous donations of food and household items, we hope to keep our shelves stocked for everyone in our community, especially those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“I was given food. Real food. Food the children would eat and food I could actually make.”
– Cynthia, SCCC Participant
Regularly Needed Items:
- Fruit: canned fruit, applesauce
- Protein: tuna, salmon, canned chicken, KETO items
- Grains: rice, gluten-free items, pastas, quinoa, cereals, crackers
- Snack Items: granola bars, small chip bags, protein drinks, etc
- Over the Counter: pain relievers, vitamins, cold medications
- Cleaning Items: soaps, detergents, bleach, sprays, disinfectant wipes
High Demand Items:
- Household Items: dish & laundry soap, cleaners, sponges
- Canned Soups & Stews: pastas, chicken soup, broth, stews
- Baby Items: formula, wipes
- Nut Butters: peanut, almond, cashew
- Fruit: jelly, jam, preserves
- Pantry Items: cooking oil, sugar
- Canned Tomatoes: diced, paste, stewed, spaghetti sauce
- Canned Beans: black, pinto, refried, garbanzo, white beans
- Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, bar soap, lotion, toothpaste
Fall/Winter Holiday Food Items:
- Bagged Stuffing
- Canned Green Beans
- Canned Corn
- Pie Fillings: pumpkin, cherry, apple
- Canned Sweet Potatoes or Yams
- Gravy Mixes
- Chicken Broth/Bouillon
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Instant Mashed Potatoes
- Canned Potatoes
- Masa Harina/Corn meal flour
- Corn Husks/Hojas
- Tortillas: corn and flour
- Dried Red Chiles/Ristra
- Dried Pinto Beans
- White Rice
- Pozole/Hominy: dried or canned
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Chile Powder
- Cooking Oil: canola & olive
- Flour and Sugar: 5 lbs bags or smaller
- Powdered Sugar
- Cookie Mixes
- Food Coloring
- Cookie Decorations (sprinkles, frosting)
Start a Food Drive
Please fill out the form below if your organization would like to run a food drive for Sister Carmen. Make sure to answer all the questions as best you can. We will reach out to you to confirm any details if needed.
Questions? Email Alex@sistercarmen.org.
Food Drive FAQ
How do I start a food drive?
Please fill out this form if your organization would like to run a food drive for Sister Carmen. Make sure to answer all the questions as best you can. We will reach out to you to confirm any details if needed. Questions? Email Alex@sistercarmen.org
Will my group receive a collection bin?
To help reduce transportation costs, please use your own boxes or containers for collection (dress them up with posters, wrapping paper, bows, etc.!) and drop off donations at the end of the drive.
Will SCCC pick up the food my team collects?
If your team collects 250+ items, Sister Carmen can pick up your donations. Please call (303) 665-4342 to schedule a pickup. Otherwise, please drop off your items during one of our collection events, or Mon—Fri, 9:00 AM—4:00 PM.
Can I bring items that aren’t on the most-needed items list?
Yes! Other non-perishable food and household items are accepted as long as they are not expired and have not been opened.
Can I collect monetary donations in addition to food?
Yes! To give securely online, click here.
What is a realistic goal for my group?
Generally, a good estimate is for 5-10 items to be donated per person. This takes into account some that may donate more and others who may choose not to give at all. A good goal might also be to pledge 1-2 items per group member. Your team could also consider a goal to “Support a Shelf” in our food bank. Set a goal to fill a section of our food bank for one day, one week, or one month. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Ways to Make your Virtual Food Drive a Success
Have a friendly VIRTUAL competition between teams: perfect for a company with multiple departments, kids groups, or even blocks in a neighborhood competing against each other… have a competition to see which team donates the most items, or mix it up and have each team participate in a different competition! Some competition examples:
- Can Sculptures: have team members bring in items to create design structures out of canned goods. Next, put it to a vote by selecting a group of judges or asking members to vote on their favorite structure by donating a nonperishable item towards that structure.
- Pie the Principal: ask the boss, a teacher, principal, or other team member to pledge to do something embarrassing (such as get “pied,” sing a karaoke song on Zoom, or take a picture in a silly outfit, etc.) if their team collects the most amount of items. Your team could also do the reverse: if they collect the least amount of items, they have to get pied, sing karaoke, etc.
Offer rewards or incentives: boost donations by entering donors in a raffle. Prizes might include gift certificates to local restaurants, PTO, or a future celebration. Or, incentivize employees to bring in X number of donation items to earn a reward such as a gift card.
Focus on one section of our food bank each day of the week: have your team collect items for one section of our food bank every day for a week: Meatless Monday (high protein items such as nut butters, etc.), Tuna Tuesday, Whole Grain Wednesday, Tomato Pasta Sauce Thursday, and Fruit Friday.
Grocery Equivalent: take the amount of money it would cost you to buy groceries for one month and use it to purchase food to donate. Saving money by not going out much this summer? Pay It Forward by using those $ for food.
Get the whole neighborhood involved: post signs and flyers around the neighborhood or on doors. Share on Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor that you’re hosting a drive. Ask neighbors to drop off at a time and place that’s convenient for you and offer to deliver the donations to Sister Carmen Community Center! Or just encourage them to swing by themselves during our next collection event.
Make it kid friendly: have kids make signs, posters, art and put them in your windows, lawn, or around town asking for support and food for Sister Carmen Community Center. They can even help build the Can Sculptures!
Join our team of Food Bank volunteers!
Don’t have time for a food drive?
You can purchase items we need for our Food Bank through our Amazon Wish List.
All items are shipped directly to SCCC.