Food drives are a great way to involve your friends and family in the fight to end hunger. Whether you host a traditional food drive to collect canned goods or hold a virtual food drive to raise funds you can make a big difference.

Hunger affects every community, but many people don’t realize it.

Individuals, schools, community organizations, and businesses can all host food drives on behalf of LIFT-UP. 

What is a virtual food drive?

A virtual food drive is a great option if you cannot collect donations in person or are unable to deliver donations to your local food bank. Instead of collecting food, a virtual food drive allows you to collect funds online for your local food bank or the Feeding America network.

Many food banks prefer virtual food drives over traditional food drives. Food banks can often purchase food for much lower than what you would pay at a grocery store. Also, sorting and inspecting donating food items can take a lot of time and resources, so a virtual food drive helps food banks put those resources to other uses.

Setting up an online fundraiser for Feeding America is easy! Get started today.

Hosting a food drive is simple and only takes a few steps. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when planning your food drive.

  1. Contact LIFT-UP first. Before you organize a food drive, make sure you contact your local food bank. Every member food bank works with food drives differently so speaking directly to your food bank is the best way to learn how to support them. Your local food bank may also have promotional materials and other advice for hosting the best food drive. Be sure to ask for the following information:

    • Do they prefer virtual food drives or traditional food drives?

    • What guidelines should you follow to ensure food donations are safe for food bank visitors?

    • How do you register as part of an official food drive?

    • Should you drop off your donations or will they pick them up?

  2. Select dates to begin and end your food drive: Food drives can last however long you’d like but most food banks recommend running your drive for at least two weeks.

  3. Collect the most wanted items: For virtual food drives, this would be monetary donations. For traditional food drives, LIFT-UP can provide you with an up-to-date list of the most needed items. Simply share that list with your friends and family along with the directions for dropping off their donations. 

  4. Discuss delivery of your donations to your local food bank: Some food banks will pick up donations directly. However, many food banks are unable to pick up your food drive donations due to staffing and scheduling. 

If you are interested in hosting a Food Drive please contact LIFT-UP at 970.625.4496 or email

Food Drive Host Resources

Suggested Non-Perishable Food Items:

*Low Sodium when possible*



Hearty Soups




Beef Stew


Pasta Sauce


Salsa Verde


Mexican Oregano

Guajillo Chiles

Arbol Chiles

Ancho Chiles

Dried Poblano Chiles

Chili Powder

Chipotle en Adobo

Mexican Cinnamon



Pumpkin Seeds

Cumin, Chipotle & Cilantro

Refried Beans





Shelf Stable Milk, Dairy and Nondairy




Whole Grain Items

Gluten Free Items





Peanut Butter





Boxed Juice

Cooking Oil

Grocery Gift Cards

Culturally Relevant Foods:

Maseca (Instant Corn Mesa Flour)

Juanita's Menudo


Canned Chilies


La Lechera (Sweetned Condensed Milk)

Media Crema (Table Cream)

Corn Husks



I do not want to host a food drive, can I still donate?

Absolutely! LIFT-UP will accept individual donations at our pantries or mobile distribution sites. View our Distribution and Pantries schedule to see the acceptable date's and time's for your local pantry/mobile distribution. We suggest the drop off of your donations during open hours to ensure the delivery of your goods. 


Can I donate perishable food items? For example, home grown vegetables or cold/frozen items from the store. 

If the items are not soiled or rotten, please do! Our pantries are equipped with refrigerators and freezers that can house perishable food items. If you are looking to donate items in bulk please contact LIFT-UP's Food Distribution Manager - Joshua Stover (970)462-8277 for the best course of action.  

Can I support a local business or school that is hosting a food drive?

Of course, check out the Food Drive calendar below and find which food drive host and location works best for you! Keep in mind, food drive host are able to host internal food drives, which are not open to general public drop off.