Donating Real Food through Crowdfunding: Amp Your Good

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During the holidays season, 2015, Civil Eats tweeted an article about Amp YourGood -a socially minded for profit organization with the goal of donating real food to people who need it most.  Amp Your Good uses crowdfunding, or rather crowdfeeding, to provide an online platform where participants purchase food through a fundraising event. Then, when the fundraiser is over, volunteers deliver the goods directly to the charity. Last updated September 5, 2016

Donating real food vs donating unwanted food

How many times have you rummaged through your pantry to find that funky can of something to donate? When my kids were younger, they participated in food drives at school. I sat in my car - anxiously watching them trudge to class, laden with heavy sacks of discarded goods destined for collection bins. Donating fresh produce was out of the question as it would have rotted by the time the food drive was over. Many times, I would have gladly given more. However, sending my kids to school with additional heavy sacks felt daunting.

With the Amp Your Good Platform, even donating perishable food is an option.

The fact of the matter is the poor in our communities need healthy, fresh food. Some of the canned goods donated each year to food drives have either expired, or quite frankly, the food is unappetizing. And people tend to give more when they don't have to worry about transporting food to collection sites.

With the Amp Your Good platform, participants can donate both perishable and non-perishable food. You can purchase individual items online for about the cost of driving to the store and buying the food yourself. And at the end of the fundraiser, the food is delivered to the charity. In this way, donating real food matches the true needs of the organizations.

Make an online donation or host a food drive.

So Amp Your Good really works in two ways: individuals and groups can host a food drive, or individuals can make online donations to any of the listed campaigns featured on the Amp Your Good website. I like how this expands the reach of the fundraiser beyond it's geographical location.

For example, last year, the Amp Your Good website featured a high school in Contra Costa County, California, that had a campaign to raise money for a lunch program where the student body actually participates in the preparation and serving of meals. Contribution choices ranged in price from a bottle of olive oil to a six pack of canned salmon. Especially notable was the opportunity to by fresh produce such as bags of potatoes, carrots, onions, and other fresh foods.  There was also the option of donating imperfect produce, which reduces food waste and maximizes donation dollars. And I didn't need to live in California to support this project!

Other platforms in addition to food drives

Amp Your Good also hosts animal shelter drives, providing food and supplies for pets. In addition, they also offer a few other specialized fundraising platforms. Take a look at a sampling of past and current campaigns on their blog.

Cash donations to food banks is still an excellent way to give, but many organizations in need don't qualify for this type of support. With Amp Your Good's online platform, a broader range of needs can be served while supporting an individual's or group's fundraising project.

Do you have an idea for a food or animal shelter drive? Head on over to the AmpYour Good FAQs page for more information. I have an idea, but I'll need to get back to you on this one.

Laura