Every fall we have a food drive to collect non-perishable food items for our local food pantry. Right now there are millions of Americans who have trouble making ends meet and are forced to skip meals, some for several days. Florida is one of nine states with significantly higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average. The number of families that go to our local food pantry grows every week. The need for food donations is especially great this time of year to be sure that no one will be turned away without food for the holidays. We first started this food drive after talking with our kids about how blessed we were that our business was able to support our family and put food on the table when many others didn’t have enough to eat. Our oldest son is so kind-hearted and asked why we didn’t use our business to help feed other people too. His idea began our annual food drive and the first year we collected two hundred and thirty one food items! The second year we did even better and collected 1066 food items which was 873 lbs of food! God is good!
This year we’d like to do even better! Once again we will be having our food drive in the form of an auction. Last year we had people bid on how many food items they would donate and the top five won free fall themed mini sessions with the disc of their images. This year we’ll have even more winners so we can collect even more food for the hungry! On November 12th, Jason will photograph EIGHT mini studio sessions with a holiday theme, perfect to use on your holiday cards. Starting now people can bid on how many food items they will donate to win one of these mini sessions with the disc of images. Send us your bid by emailing email@example.com and putting “Bid for Food Drive” in the subject line. We will be accepting bids until midnight on Sunday, November 6th.
The food items must be non-perishable goods in cans, boxes, or plastic jars. Please do not count any packets, bags, or pouches as part of your bid. Also, the food pantry has asked that there be no glass jars please. Some great ideas are cans of soup, canned fruits or vegetables, canned tuna, peanut butter in plastic jars, boxes of mac and cheese, boxes of rice, or boxes of pasta. You could even donate part of a Thanksgiving dinner with canned green beans, canned cranberry sauce, a can of gravy, a can of jams, a box of stuffing, a box of instant mashed potatoes, and a box of cake mix with a can of icing.
We will also be accepting Publix gift cards for those of you who live out of town and want to win this as a gift for someone here in FL, or for those of you who just don’t want to carry around all those cans of food. Every $1 on the gift card counts as one food item so with a bid of 100 food items you could donate a Publix gift card for $100.
The mini-session can be any type of session including engagement, maternity, baby, etc. However, only one family can be included in a session and the bids must be made per child for every child who will be in the session. For example, a family session with a mom, dad, and two kids could bid 100 cans per child. Their donation would then be for 200 cans total.
We have a minimum bid of 50 food items (again, remembering that is per child). The eight bids with the highest total number of food items will win a free holiday themed mini session with the disc of images. We will announce the winners here on the blog on Monday, November 7th. The sessions will be on November 12th with time slots starting at 11:15am and ending at 3:45pm. The winners will get to choose their time in the order of the number of food items donated (most food donated gets first pick and so on) and they will bring their food items with them to their session on the 12th. The session and disc are completely free to the winners but if any prints or products are ordered from these sessions we will donate all of the profits from those orders to Feeding America, a hunger relief charity.
There is such a great need for food right now in our community and beyond. As we approach the holiday season, the season of giving, remember those who wonder where their next meal will come from. For those of you who simply want to donate food items or grocery store gift cards to be given to the food pantry without being part of the auction, we’d be happy to accept those donations as well. Friends, family, neighbors, other photographers, vendors, or anyone else who might be reading this, please get involved and send in or drop off a donation. Whether it is one can or one hundred, we can all give something to help the hungry. For everyone sending in bids to take part in the auction, be generous in your bids! Think of how beautiful your holiday cards will look with an image taken by Jason on them. How much would you pay for a session with a disc? Consider spending that on food instead, and add extra as your donation to charity! Send in your bids to help feed the hungry and get some great images for yourself at the same time!
We work with such kind, generous, amazing couples and families so we know this food drive is going to be a huge success. We are so excited to see the good we can do together!