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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

Self-Storage Facilities Support Canned-Food Drives

By Amy Campbell Comments
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A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about holiday charities, encouraging self-storage operators to find something they felt passionate about and get involved this holiday season. This week, we’ve posted several news items about operators who are doing just that.

Canned-food drives are all the rage this time of year—and they should be. Stats show 49 million Americans are at risk for hunger, and that includes children. We’re not talking about desirable foods, but the basics—milk, bread and meat. Each year, local food banks will deliver more than two billion pounds of food and grocery products to hungry Americans.  And while grocery stores have long held canned-food drives around the holidays, now self-storage facilities are getting in on the act. Storage Asset Management Inc. and RJ Self Storage launched canned-food drives this month. The facilities are working with their local food banks to collect canned goods and other non-perishable foods through Thanksgiving. The facilities are even offering rental discounts for donated items.

If you’d like to host a canned-food drive but aren’t sure where to start, contact your local food bank. They can provide you a list of what types of items to accept and refuse and even information on food safety. Some food banks will even pick up the donated food from your facility. They may also provide signage or add your facility to their website as a drop-off location.

To make the most of your canned-food drive, you have to spread the word that you’re hosting one. Craft a short e-mail announcing the dates of the drive and send it to all your current and previous tenants. Offer a few suggestions for donated items, such as macaroni and cheese, soup or rice. If you’re offering a discount for donated goods, spell it out. For example five donated items gets you $10 off one month’s rent.

If your facility is located near other businesses, drop off fliers at each location so they can pass them out to their customers. Add the information to website also. Like any promotion, you have to market it.

If you’re looking to get more involved with the many movements looking to end hunger, hit the Web. I found several states with hunger coalitions that accept donations and are even looking for volunteers to aid in their efforts. Or simply ask your local food bank what else you can do to help. Canned-food drives shouldn’t be regulated to just the holiday season. It’s really something you can do any time of year.

If you’re hosting a canned-food drive at your facility, share the ins and outs with Self-Storage Talk members. How did you go about setting up the drive? What has it meant for your facility and community? Many operators are looking for low-cost ways to get involved in their communities. If this is working for you, post a comment below or share your story here.

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