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Tori Callahan

Featured Campaign: Food From the Bar


Campaign Name: Food From the Bar

Campaign Fundraising Goal: $30,000 by May 25, 2012

Charity Name: Feeding America San Diego (FASD)

Location: San Diego, CA

Mission: To feed the hungry; to advocate; to educate


For 1 in 4 San Diego children, what they eat at school is the best meal of the day. For some, it’s the only meal of the day. During the summer months, thousands of children lose access to breakfast and lunch programs. Feeding America San Diego, the largest distributor of donated food in San Diego, is working to change all of this.

We recently spoke with Feeding America SD Corporate & Foundation Relations Manager Diane Woerner about the organization’s latest fundraising initiative, Food from the Bar. An incentive-based campaign, Food from the Bar is a four-week competition that taps the local legal community to raise money and donate food. An innovative approach to fundraising, Woerner provides valuable insight into the advantages of using competition and incentives to motivate supporters.


What was the inspiration behind Food from the Bar? Why the legal community?

The Food from the Bar campaign is a month-long, competitive food and fundraising drive intended to inspire a healthy competition between law firms and help raise critical support for the Food Bank during the summer months.

This is the first year for the campaign here in San Diego, but it has been taking place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Santa Barbara for several years now. It was originally established by the San Francisco Food Bank and has now grown to span the entire state of California during these four weeks.

Feeding America SD was very excited to be contacted by two local lawyers here in San Diego, Holly Amaya with Green Bryant, & French LLP and Richard Gluck with Soloman Ward and the Association of Business Trial lawyers; both expressed the need to start a Food From the Bar competition here in San Diego.

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to raise $30,000 or the equivalent of 180,000 meals for hungry San Diegans, 2,500 lbs of food, and 500 volunteer hours!

Food from the Bar calls upon supporters to not just get involved, but to work to inspire their friends and family to get involved as well. What tools do you provide to help them achieve this?

The campaign is based off a point system. For every dollar a firm donates, they get one point. For every 5 lbs of food collected, they also get 1 point. Lastly, for every person that comes in to volunteer their time, they get 10 points.

With the help of StayClassy, we have an array of portals to advertise the campaign. In addition to our Food from the Bar campaign page, each competing law firm has their own page, and some firms have also had their employees create individual pages within their group.

We provide all law firms with team coordinators that distribute helpful e-mail templates, Facebook and Twitter posts and blog ideas that they can send out to clients, employees, family and friends. Using these resources, participants are able to encourage their networks to donate to their team.

Feeding America SD works with 170 partner schools, churches and smaller food pantries throughout SD County to feed 73,000 people from their 30,000 square foot warehouse

How have you approached this campaign and why do you think competition inspires action?

First off, lawyers are extremely competitive so this works to our advantage. They always want to beat the other firms. Knowing this, we try to ignite the fire with continual communication of 1st/2nd/3rd place standings in the hopes that it will encourage the teams.

I strongly believe that healthy competition inspires people to rally for a cause and start taking action. In order to set the “bar” high, we create some new incentives each week to keep the competitive spirit up! We send them out every Monday with the previous week’s results. Some general incentives include:

    • The first firm to fill their food barrel with donated food and send in a picture will receive an extra 1,000 points.
    • Firms get double points for volunteer time if a volunteer comes in at certain specified times during the week. And if they come in a second time, they also receive a FASD t-shirt.
    • Any single donation over $500 will count for double points, those over $750 are triple points and donations over $1000 are quadruple points.
Food from the Bar is looking to raise $30,000 or the equivalent of 180,000 meals, 2,500 lbs of food, and 500 volunteer hours

The main message behind the campaign is that hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation when school food programs do. For 1 in 4 San Diego children, what they eat at school is the best meal of the day. For some, it’s the only meal they get all day. Parents look to us to help meet their children’s daily nutritional needs.

What advice would you give to other nonprofits wanting to create similar campaigns but unsure of how to begin?

    • Have a volunteer committee to support the campaign and assist in the recruitment of other teams
    • Reach out to other nonprofits who have done similar campaigns and ask for their input/feedback
    • Don’t unveil all your incentives at the beginning of the campaign. Keep some in your back pocket so that you can pull them out throughout the campaign to continue the momentum.
    • Keep participants engaged! Weekly communications are key to the standings of the competition. Mid-week reports are also crucial to keep firms engaged and to get them to end the week strong.

Feeding America SD is also looking forward to their upcoming fundraiser, Schools Out, Hungers Not! campaign launching on June 1. This campaign will provide critical support to special food distributions throughout the summer to ensure that kids and families are getting the nutrition they need to live healthy and productive lives. See how you get involved here.

[toggle_framed title=”Learn More About Feeding America San Diego”]
Feeding America San Diego (FASD) is a community-supported non-profit organization with a mission “to feed the hungry; to advocate; to educate” the public and those living in food-insecure households in our community.

Working closely with 170+ partner non-profit agencies, local school districts, and an extensive network of volunteers, FASD provides 73,000 meals to children, families, and seniors in need each week. FASD is dedicated to creating a hunger-free and healthy San Diego through innovative programs and collaborative community partnerships.

Last fiscal year 16.2 million pounds of food were distributed to more than 435,000 food-insecure people in our community via our network of partner non-profit agencies and direct service programs. Through these county-wide partnerships, FASD has distributed 53 million pounds of nutritious food and fresh produce since 2008 from San Ysidro in the south to Jacumba in the east to Rainbow in the north. Learn more here.
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