Feeding America Compassion, Collaboration,
Responsibility, Education, Diversity

Food Fight!: a student-powered food & fund drive


Food Bank of Lincoln Contact

Please direct all Food Fight! questions to Jason Helgren, Child Hunger Coordinator
402.904.6550, ext. 102 and email

About Food Fight!, A Brief History

Food Fight! is a three-week friendly competition between area schools with one goal to band together in the fight against hunger. Students collect items in a variety of ways, from going door-to-door in the community to holding special events and raising money that they donate to the Food Bank for food purchases. Students also package the collected food and deliver it to the Food Bank of Lincoln. All of the food collected helps feed children and families.

In addition to collecting food for those in need, Food Fight! gives students the opportunity to develop organizational and life skills as they work together to accomplish a common goal. Food Fight! began in 2013 and since that time has resulted in 129,953 meals for hungry neighbors in Southeast Nebraska. This student-organized, student-led campaign instills philanthropy and volunteerism among school-age youths.

Get Involved

The 2018 Food Fight! drive officially begins Monday, Oct. 15 and continues through Friday, Nov. 2. We’re calling on YOU to get your school involved and help us make a dent in hunger in our community. High school students are encouraged to engage their feeder schools as a way to role model positive behavior and leadership. Schools are categorized according to size so you compete against similarly sized schools. Registrations are due by Noon on Monday, Oct. 1.

Ready to Fight?

If you want to join in the Fight, here’s what we ask of you:
• Gain permission from an advisor at your school.
• Attend the Kick-off event. See details below.
• Provide leadership to your community’s Food Fight! effort.
• Challenge other schools to participate.
• Attend the Awards Finale in November. Date, time and location TBA.

Fill-Your-Cart Shopping Spree Kick-Off Event

We’ll kick-off this year’s Food Fight! on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7:30 a.m. at Russ’s Market, 33rd and Highway 2 in Lincoln. The fun begins with doughnuts, juice and coffee at 7:15 a.m. followed by timed, one-minute shopping sprees beginning promptly at 7:30 a.m. The first 15 schools to register for Food Fight! event will have :60 to fill a cart with food during this energy filled jump-start to this year’s campaign. This is FREE food for your team’s overall total. Space is limited to the first 15 registrants.Because we are limited on space for the event and have many teams participating, we must limit each team to sending three students and one advisor.

After the event, the food collected during the shopping spree will be hauled back to the Food Bank by one of our drivers. Totals will be reported to each school and points will be awarded according to total pounds collected during the one-minute spree.

Please note: 2017 award winners, please bring the plaques and spoons to the kick-off.

Monetary Donations

Students may collect monetary donations to benefit the drive, but unlike in previous years, the money does NOT need to be converted into pounds. Checks can be mailed to the Food Bank of Lincoln or delivered in person. Checks should be made payable to: Food Bank of Lincoln and include this message in the memo: Food Fight – [name of school]. The donations will be accepted as money, and will need to be turned in no later than noon on Monday, November 5. Monetary donations are encouraged to be made online by visiting http://www.lincolnfoodbank.org/foodfight/ and selecting the appropriate school from the drop down menu.

Volunteer Hours

All students involved in working on this event are eligible to receive volunteer hours. Please record all the times you spend on the drive. Once complete, have an advisor sign off on the time and then send it to Jason Helgren for final approval. The following are examples that can be used as volunteer hours: brainstorming about ideas, sponsoring events to benefit the drive, material pickup and food drop off transportation time.

Point System

Food Fight! 2018 will once again have the point system award category. Schools will receive points for pounds of various food items, reusable grocery tote bags and backpacks donated, personal care items, and funds raised. The food, however, must be sorted into like items upon delivery to the Food Bank for weighing in order to receive points. Below is how points will be awarded: • Dry items (cereal, boxed dinners, mac and cheese) – 20 pts/lb
• Canned items & condiments – 5 pts./lb.
• Fruit juice (not tomato juice) – 10 pts./lb.
• Personal care items – 10 pts./lb.
• Reusable grocery tote bag or backpack – 5 pts./bag
• Funds – 25 pts./$1

Step-by-Step Guide on Collecting Food

1. Create labels/flyers to post around your school. The more noticeable and memorable the flyers are the better.
2. Clearly detail the location of collection barrels/boxes.
3. Connect with your school newspaper and/or radio to announce the dates of the drive and to keep the momentum going.
4. Make sure to gather and place all loose food into barrels, boxes, or bags.

Most-Needed Items (Any non-perishable canned or boxed item)

• Canned meats (example, Tuna)
• Soups, canned or boxed
• Canned fruits and vegetables
• Peanut butter
• Boxed dinners (example, Macaroni & Cheese)
• Granola bars
• Cereals
• 100% fruit juices (shelf stable)

Most-Needed Personal Care Items

• Toilet paper
• Diapers and wipes
• Soap
• Shampoo
• Toothbrushes/Toothpaste
• Personal hygiene products

Awards Finale

The Awards Finale will be the week of Nov. 5. Please stay tuned for more details.

Awards will be given to the top three schools in each category. For the Grand Prize, schools will be divided into two groups based on student population (900 students will be the separating line). For all other categories schools will be in one group.

Awards Categories
• Most pounds per student
• Most dollars per student
• Most feeder schools involved – school must contribute a minimum of 100 lbs.
• Most reusable grocery bags and backpacks collected
Overall Points
- 3rd place - $50
- 2nd place - $100
- 1st place - $200
Grand Prize – Meals per student (meals are calculated at lbs./1.2 = meals and $1 = 3 meals)
- 1st place - $300
- 2nd place - $200
- 3rd place - $100

Food Drive Idea Starters

We have all negotiated our way through Food Bank barrels in our hallways. They do a great job of providing a place for donated items. But now is the time to think outside of the “barrel”.

The following are suggestions to help you brainstorm ideas to generate more food for your drive. Feel free to be creative in coming up with additional methods of collecting non-perishables. (See most needed lists and weekly food focuses for suggested items.) Remember that putting Food Bank barrels or boxes in your halls should not be your only method of collection. It’s also important to recognize your club can’t do it alone. This is where your great leadership skills come into play!

Involve other clubs within your school, and involve feeder schools within your district. Contacting your middle and elementary schools or church is a great way to raise and gather additional food. Getting help from others will not only result in a greater collection, but also increased school-wide community service. Collection should remain within the area of your school district.

Additional Ideas
• Trick-or-Treat for Hunger
• Spirit Day or Night at a local restaurant
• Drive Through Food Drive
• Walkathon
• Competitions between classes, clubs, or sports teams
• Sporting events – collect cans as entry fee
• Principal challenges – kiss a pig, dye hair, etc.
• Sell after school snacks
• Goofy games /activities at volleyball and football intermissions
• Feeder school participation
• Bingo Night
• Tux Day – carry groceries out in a tux and get “tipped” with a can
• Mini golf tournament
• Car wash (for money or cans)
• Haunted House for Hunger (cans for entry)
• Faculty or student talent show
• Dance marathon

Let’s Crush Hunger.

• 1 in 8 people living in Southeast Nebraska is food insecure.
• An estimated 58,550 people living in Southeast Nebraska are food insecure.
• Of that number, 18,940 are children under the age 18.
• The Food Bank works with more than 90 school partners in our 16-county service area.

Thank you to these Food Fight! sponsors:

©2018 Food Bank of Lincoln All Rights Reserved