Canning Food Drives? (OPB, Think Out Loud)

AIR DATE: Tuesday, December 13th 2011 POSTED BY: ALEX JOHNSON

For many people, the holiday food drive is an integral part of the holidays. But what if instead of donating canned food during the holidays, we wrote checks to food banks so that they could buy more food themselves? According to Katherina Rosqueta, the executive director of The Center for High Impact Philanthropy, that’s a smarter way to go.

Rosqueta says that when consumers buy food at retail prices and then donate it to a food bank, they’re actually spending more money than they need to be. That’s because food banks can often buy food in bulk at a lower price. But according to Patti Whitney-Wise, executive director of the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force, many food banks rely on both food and monetary donations. And a representative from the Oregon Food Bank says that donations from the public allow them to distribute products that are difficult to get through other channels.

Listen to the show on the Oregon Public Broadcasting website.