- Time Commitment: 2 hours per month
- Description: Point person in a neighborhood or on a street for monthly food drives. Neighborhood coordinators spread the word about the designated day for the food drives, pick up donations from neighborhood porches, and schlep the food bags to a central location.
What are some of the qualities of a good neighborhood coordinator?
It always helps when a neighborhood coordinator has lots of personal connections with neighbors. Experience shows that many more people tend to participate in the monthly food drives. That said, being a neighbor coordinator is a great way to meet new neighbors, especially for those families who have just moved into a neighborhood. Here are some other qualities that good neighborhood coordinators share in common:
- Provide honest and frequent communication with neighbors about the neighborhood food drives, including shout-outs to neighbors that go above and beyond the call of duty.
- Host events (lemonade stands, coffees to show the PORCH video, block parties) that build a sense of neighborhood and a shared cause through
- Create a network of neighbors that can step in when the regular neighborhood coordinator needs to step out from time to time (due to travel
plans, work commitments, family responsibilities, sickness, etc.)
- Have a passion for hunger relief that ripples throughout the entire
When are the PORCH pick up days? Is there flexibility?
PORCH’s monthly food pick-ups are typically on Mondays. (See Sort Dates here) Due to work or family commitments, some neighborhood coordinators prefer to pick up food donations during the weekend prior to PORCH Mondays. That is absolutely fine! PORCH tries to be as flexible as possible with the schedule, knowing that neighborhood coordinators are often tucking the food pick-ups in between a million and one other tasks.
Where do we drop off the food?
If you are delivering the food on Monday morning, please bring it to St Thomas
More Catholic Church (940 Carmichael Street, Chapel Hill). If you are delivering the
food the weekend prior to PORCH Monday, the drop-off site is Susan Romaine’s
garage at 218 Lake Manor Road Chapel Hill.
What time should we drop off the food?
For Monday deliveries, the earlier the better! PORCH is prepared to accept your
neighborhood’s food donations at St Thomas More as early as 8:30 am but no later
than 10:30 am. That gives us one hour to get all of the food sorted and delivered to
the local food pantries. For weekend deliveries to Susan’s garage, come at your
convenience. The garage doors will be open all weekend.
What kinds of foods are needed the most?
Here is a listing of the most commonly requested foods by the local pantries served
- Cans of soup and stew
- Cans of tuna, chicken, or spam (low sodium, if possible)
- Cans of fruits of all kinds (low sugar, if possible)
- Cans of vegetables of all kinds (low sodium, if possible)
- Plastic containers of peanut butter and jelly
- Healthy snack foods (applesauce, peanut butter crackers, raisins, peanuts,
- Oatmeal and other low-sugar cereals
- Single-serving prepared meals (such as Hormel)
- Juice boxes
- Dried pasta and pasta sauce
- Bags of rice (white or brown)
- Bags of lentils and beans of all kinds
- Macaroni & cheese
Please check the expiration dates on all donated foods to be sure they are still
edible. No glass containers, please.
Can donors leave non-food donations on their porches?
Because PORCH’s mission is focused on hunger relief, we ask that donors only leave food or cash donations (used to purchase fresh food) on their porches. That said, once a year, PORCH donors are invited to leave new or gently used children’s books on their porches, which are then donated to our Well Fed, Well Read partner, Book Harvest. Donors are also invited to leave new and gently used jackets and coats on their porches from time to time, which are shared with the Karen/Burmese community that PORCH serves through its fresh food program.
How do I donate cash to PORCH? How is the cash used?
100% of cash donations are used to purchase fresh food (fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and chicken) for the hundreds of local families served through PORCH’s Food for Families program. Through its partnerships with Weaver Street Market, Farmer Foodshare, Maple View Farms, Harris Teeter, Costco, Cliff’s Meat Market and Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, PORCH strives to get the best produce at the most affordable prices – stretching your donations just as far as they can go.
Checks are made payable to PORCH and mailed to:PORCH Chapel Hill/ Carrboro
P.O. Box 16363
Chapel Hill, NC 27516-6363
Or, Online donations can be made here
How do I get a PORCH yard sign and car magnets?
Yard signs, car magnets, t-shirts, hand bags, and other supplies are available each month at the two drop-off locations: St. Thomas More Catholic Church and Susan’s garage. Or, you can email Susan at email@example.com to work out other arrangements for picking up supplies.
How can I get more participation in my neighborhood?
If you noticed there is an ebb in food donations from your neighborhood, here are some tips for increasing the flow:
- Once a year, send an email to all of your neighbors reminding them about this very simple way to participate in local hunger relief.
- Go door-to-door with PORCH brochures that include a mailing label with your contact information. We are happy to provide the brochures with the printed labels.
- After each neighborhood drive, add a personal note to PORCH’s thank you email, recognizing your neighbors’ loyal participation. Pictures are a nice addition, too.
- From time to time, consider handwritten thank you notes to generous neighborhood donors.
- Put out your PORCH yard sign(s) each month. Say, two or three days before the scheduled pick-ups, to remind neighbors that it’s time to purchase a few extra items at the grocery store to help restock the shelves of local pantries.
- If someone is new to the neighborhood, be sure to introduce yourself and PORCH!