Your Food Drive FAQ

What food items are needed the most?
Nutritious non-perishable items like canned meats (including tuna, stews and soups), and canned fruits and vegetables are in greatest demand. Our most current Most Needed Items list is part of the Food & Fund Drive Toolkit you’ll receive upon registering.

What supplies does FASWVA provide for my drive? 
FASWVA can provide colorful posters, donation barrels*, and collection bags. (*Donation barrels are reserved for drives anticipating a collection of 350 or more pounds.)

How long should my drive last?
Depending on the size of your organization, 1-2 weeks is optimal. You want to give people enough time to get their donation in, without losing a sense of urgency and excitement.

How do I get food drive donations to the Food Bank?
Whenever possible, we ask that you deliver your donations to our closest  distribution center, either 1025 Electric Road, Salem, VA 24153 (view map), or 21452 Gravel Lake Road, Abingdon, VA 24211 (view map). By saving FASWVA the expense of trucks, drivers and gas, you leave more dollars for feeding hungry people.

What are your donation hours?
We accept food donations at both our Salem and Abingdon distribution centers Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm.

Can you pick up my food donations? 
In order to make the best, most efficient use of our funds, we pre-schedule our drivers. We ask that you schedule a pick-up at least a week ahead of time and that your pick-up be a minimum of 350 pounds.

Which would you prefer be donated: food or money? 
FASWVA is grateful for any and all donations.  Food drives not only provide the food needed by our hungry neighbors, but also create a connection between donors and the people they are helping. On the other hand, monetary donations yield more food, as FASWVA can buy at deeply reduced rates. For every dollar donated, we are able to provide $12.00 worth of groceries.

How will receipts for monetary donations be handled?
Anyone donating offline (e.g., by check) will receive a printed thank you letter with gift receipt in the mail. Anyone donating online will receive the same print letter as well as an automated email thank you message with gift receipt. Cash donations will not be individually receipted. Instead, all cash donations will be credited as one lump sum to your individual or organization’s name.

Why doesn’t FASWVA provide receipts for cash donations?
For legal purposes, we must maintain a paper trail for all gifts that we receipt. If cash donations are not received and receipted at the point of donation by a Food Bank staff member, we have no verifiable way to link the gift amount with the corresponding donor. We are more than happy to send a thank you letter to all cash donors to your drive if you provide a list of names. However, this letter will not qualify as an official tax receipt.

How do I handle my company’s matching gifts?
Many corporations have a matching gift program. Please consult your Human Resources department to see if your company matches charitable contributions. When making a contribution that your company will match, be sure to enclose the paperwork required by your company with your gift.

How much does a Food Donation barrel hold?
Our Food Donation barrels hold approximately 225 pounds of food, or roughly enough to serve about 190 meals.

How much does a can of food weigh? 
The average can of food weighs 15 ounces — almost a pound.


Most Needed Items

In order to help our nonprofit partner agencies create and provide healthy meals for their clients, FASWVA strives to supply a variety of well-balanced, nutritious foods. Focusing on high-protein food items, we aim to distribute foods that will enable people suffering the ill effects of hunger and poverty to feel stronger and healthier. Some of the most needed food items are:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Meats, like Tuna
  • Dry Beans
  • Canned Meals, like Stews and Pastas
  • Canned Soup
  • 100% Fruit Juice
  • Canned Fruits and Vegetables
  • Whole Grain, Low Sugar Cereals


When you add funds to your food drive, we can stretch your donation. For every dollar donated, FASWVA is able to distribute $12 worth of groceries!