Do you watch the show "Adam Ruins Everything" on TruTV? It's sort of as if Alton Brown's "Good Eats" got mashed up with "Mythbusters." It's a fun little show, if you like having everything you hold dear ruined.
Well just in time for the holidays, Adam recently "ruined" canned food drives.
For the longest time, canned food drives were a pet peeve of mine (second to rolling luggage). Canned food drives are simply not efficient. As Adam points out, you need people to collect, sort and repackage random donations that don't fit together for a series of sensible, nutritious meals.
Furthermore, a person buying $25 of groceries at retail prices just doesn't go as far as $25 for a food bank, which can utilize its purchasing power and scale to not only buy more food but also more of the types of food it needs to fill out its inventory. The sad truth is that food from canned food drives amounts to less than 3% of our network's total food inventory.
But I changed my opinion when it occurred to me that canned food drives are simply a gateway that introduces people to a life of service in the fight against hunger; sort of basic training for hunger fighters.
How many of you learned about the issue and your local food bank after donating a bag of groceries. My bet is that more than a handful of you started volunteering at your local food bank with your friends. And then afterward, I bet some of you started writing letters to your legislators or joined a board.
Canned food drives are just the first step in this pipeline of engagement with our issue. And for that, the relative inefficiency of canned food drives pay off great dividends in the end.