A group of teenagers in Exeter were doing a short Citizenship course and had a brainstorming session on things they could do to help the community. One of the group mentioned that her family had, from time-to-time, needed to use a foodbank so they started discussing how they could help the foodbank. They came up with the bright idea of getting the local Sainsbury supermarket to put labels next to priority items that foodbanks need. Sainsbury trialled it in the local store and it increased the donations by 300 %. They are now going to roll it out across all Sainsbury stores. The simple idea solves two problems:
- 1 Often people only see the donation basket after they have gone through checkout and at that point they need everything they have bought. The labels get them to think about buying a few extra things while they are shopping so the number of donations should increase.
2 Those that do remember to buy items don't really know what to buy. I guess we all know that it needs to be non-perishable but other than that we have no idea. Look at the basket and it is full of pasta, rice and beans and very little else. By marking items on the shelves that are a priority for the foodbank the donations will become more relevant.
It is no big hassle for the supermarket because the priority items tend to be constant so once they have placed the labels they don't need to keep changing them. Anything anybody buys to put in the donation basket is an extra sale for the store so more revenue. The organisation helping the needy gets more donations so can help more people. The people making the donation know that they are really providing what is required. A win-win-win-win deal. You don't get those very often.
If anybody has contact with organisations distributing food donations they might suggest it to them as an idea to discus with the supermarkets making the donations.