Hope Filled Bags
Helping those who help others
Hope Filled Bags is a project that churches can use to respond to food insecurity in their community.
In running this project, a church provides its members with the Hope grocery bags and its members distributes these to their family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and, in other creative ways, to people who are happy to donate grocery items. The Hope Filled Bags are returned by the happy donors. The donation is then brought to the church where it will be forwarded to Food Bank or another local community service organisation.
Replicate this project in your church
To replicate the project you will need:
A coordinator who
will research the needs of local food relief services
will order the Bags. We recommend using Kirra Promotions who have the Hope Filled Bags artwork.
designate a date to have the bags given to church members and a date for the bags' collection.
organise for the pick up or delivery of the donation to Food Bank or other local food relief services
Compassionate Church Members willing to take and pass bags on; plus collect the donation and return to the church.
There's more than one way to give hope
Your church can choose what works for it
There are a number of ways to seek donations and this really depends on what your church is capable of.
Here are a number of tried and tested ways, you could choose any or a combination of the following:
Knock on doors in the local neighbourhood and ask people to participate
This is the most labour intensive; requiring a lot of people to be organised, to give out bags and collect them. (Note: this may not be perceived as COVIDsafe or popular in the current climate)
Set up a stall outside a major supermarket on a Saturday morning to ask people to participate. This will need to be organised with the particular Shopping Centre in advance to obtain permission.
Ask church members to take 5-10 bags and give them to their neighbours or friends or work colleagues
This third option has a number of benefits:
May be less objectionable and easier to organise
May have more effect on creating a good reputation for your church
May get more people from your church involved in engaging with their community and fostering generosity.
Run a successful project
Is there local need?
Food Bank or Local food relief services
Find out what food relief services operate in your church's local area and
what items they most need
storage capacity for your donated items
Food Bank is a big organisation well worth supporting. They also provide details regard running a food drive and items needed.
Allocate a date to run the project
Nominate a date to run the project and have the Bags ready for Church Members to collect one week out from the date, eg. If you nominate a the first Sunday of May to be the donation collection date then have the empty bags ready by the last Sunday in April.
Determine the number of Bags to purchase. Church members may be willing to pay for the bags they wish to distribute. The cost of the bags vary (between $1.35 & $2 GST exc.)
Order directly through Kirra Promotions who, have the Hope Filled Bags artwork.
Note: Kirra Promotions will organise delivery free of charge every for every Church that orders 1000 or more bags!
A letter from your church to the donor
along with a shopping list
Each bag should have a friendly letter from your church with a brief of what you are doing and requesting. The letter also has a shopping list of most needed items.
See our example.
Genesis of Hope Filled Bags
This project has gone through a number of transitions. It started at St Hilary’s Anglican Kew Vic. as an annual Food Drive. The local neighbourhood were asked to donate food which, church members collected. The donations were passed on to Mission House in Fitzroy Vic.
The project was rebranded in 2015 to Hope for Boroondara & Beyond. The blue grocery bag was introduced and provided to the neighbourhood. That year saw a 300% increase in donated food. In addition, the number of agencies the project supported increased. Other churches partnered in the project and the project moved into other municipalities.
The Hope Food Drive has been operating in various LGAs in Melbourne
Hope for Boroondara & Beyond
Hope for Glen Eira & Beyond
Hope for Whitehorse & Beyond
Hope for Monash
We now hope to see the project expand across Australia. As churches we can be a great partner with organisations that are doing good.
How we provide Hope