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Alternate Activity 1: Decorate Bags for Food Drive

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Large paper grocery bags
  • Color markers
  • Optional: Plain paper and staplers if bags have printing on them

Preparation for Activity

  • Work with your minister, religious educator, or lay leaders to identify a food bank for your donations, and to determine when and where to provide empty bags for the congregation and request the bags be returned filled with non-perishable food.
  • Choose a date and a place for filled bags to be returned and make arrangements for reminder announcements.
  • Contact a local food bank to determine what kinds of food they can use and where/when it can be dropped off.

Description of Activity

Participants invite others in the congregation to join them in doing service. Decorate large paper grocery bags with pictures and messages that will inspire non-perishable food contributions to a local food bank. Then, distribute the bags to the congregation, and at a future date collect the filled bags and bring them to the food bank.

Engage the group in a discussion about what foods make appropriate donations. Frame the discussion around answering the food bank's request for items the organization says they need (as opposed to asking participants to brainstorm what they think the food bank needs).

Ask the participants for messages about service they could put on the bags to encourage contributions of food. If the bags you are using have printing on the outside, participants can write and/or draw on sheets of paper, and then staple or tape the artwork to the bags.

Distribute bags and art materials. As children work or when they have completed decorating the bags, ask them to reflect on the fact that they are inviting others to be of service. How do they feel about asking other people to help? How do they feel when they, themselves, are asked to be of service in their home, school or community?

Make sure to include the group in follow-up plans to collect filled bags and bring the bags to the food bank.

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