Food Donation FAQs

How can host a food drive?

  • Please visit the ‘Donate Food’ page on our site to register for a food drive. After you finish registration, you will receive an email with more info as well as access to our food drive kit. There you will find materials you may find useful as well as our Most Wanted Foods List. Feel free to distribute that list as needed!

Does the food bank provide collection boxes/bins?

  • Yes, you are welcome to come in Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in DC and 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in our NOVA location to pick up as many collection boxes as needed free of charge. Each box holds about 200 pounds worth of food.

When my drive is over, does the food bank provide a pickup service?

  • Once your food drive is over, please consider delivering your donation to CAFB as part of your overall donation. As gas prices continue to climb and the food bank’s limited resources are stretched, we encourage you to consider providing boxes and transportation while hosting a food drive. We are open to receive donations Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in DC and 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in NOVA.
  • If you collect more food than can fit in your car (way to go!), please call (202) 644-9818 to schedule a pick-up.

What items is the food bank in most need of?

  • Please review our Most Wanted List. We prioritize nonperishable items that are low sugar, low sodium and high fiber (whole grain pasta, brown rice, 100% juices, low sodium canned veggies, etc.).

What items can you not accept?

  • The Capital Area Food Bank is committed to providing good, healthy food that contributes to wellness. As a result, we are no longer able to accept candy, full calorie sodas or bakery items such as sheet cakes, cookies or pies. Due to food safety regulations, we also are not able to accept prepared foods such as sandwiches, leftover meals from catered events, or sauces/jams made at home.

Do you accept any other products besides food?

  • While we won’t refuse donations of hygiene products, diapers, disposable utensils, etc. Our main focus and donation preference is food.

Do you accept pet foods?

  • We love our furry friends but we do not accept pet foods or supplies. If you are interested in donating pet foods, please reach out to your local animal rescue organization to see how you can help.

What are some alternative ways to donate food to the food bank?

  • If you are having difficulty with transportation purchasing and/or delivering food, please consider ordering from our Amazon Wishlist and having your donations shipped to us. Please also encourage your social media friends/follows to donate and post the link your pages!

Can I donate money instead?

  • Absolutely! You can donate funds here. In fact, every dollar you give will provide 2.5 meals! Please also consider adding a virtual drive component alongside your traditional food drive. You can share the link on your social media pages allowing those who are not able to participate traditionally the chance to help out.