Food From the Bar: Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Food from the Bar?

    Food from the Bar is an annual competitive fundraiser among legal professionals where participating firms earn points by raising funds, food, and volunteer time to to benefit the SF-Marin Food Bank.

  • How can we participate?

    Getting involved is easy! You can raise funds, host a food drive, and volunteer in our warehouse for points that contribute to your team goal.

  • My firm wants to participate, how do I register?

    You can create your own customized Virtual Drive donation webpage so you can raise funds online - a virtual food drive! Simply fill out the online registration form, and your team’s virtual drive page will be automatically generated. Then share the link to your customized team page and ask your friends to support the Food Bank by donating to support your team. When registering for a virtual drive, you don't need to enter a barrel delivery request - this is only if you intend to collect food donations. View a sample team page here.

  • How do I set up my Virtual Drive page?

    When you fill out the online registration form, your virtual drive page is automatically generated. As you complete the registration form, you'll be prompted to enter your team’s information, goals, upload a logo or an image of your choice, place a food collection barrel order (if applicable) and create a customized team greeting. Once your registration is approved, you'll receive an email with coordinator login instructions, through which you can make blog postings, post photos, and share your page on social media to encourage others to get involved in your drive!

  • How do you track my totals?

    Team totals are tracked on a thermometer graph on your customized webpage. Online cash donations appear on your page within five minutes and points for food donations and volunteer shifts will be uploaded within a week after the pick-up/shift.

    Donations by cash and check are also accepted, but please allow 5-7 business days upon receipt for them to be manually uploaded into your team’s total. Note: when submitting by cash or check, please mark your donation with your team or group name and "Food from the Bar" so that we can accurately track your progress.

  • What do the points mean?

    Your team total is made of points earned through volunteering and donated food or funds.  $1 = point; 5lbs of food = 1 point; 1 volunteer shift = 10 points. 

  • How do you track the winners?

    Overall team rankings are posted here, on the Leaderboard (coming soon!), where you can see how your team stacks up to the competition! Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as we shout-out weekly category leaders and campaign updates.

    Awards are based on the FFTB point system and include the following categories:

    • Per Capita (highest point total per number of employees at the firm)
    • Platinum (12,000 points and up)
    • Gold (6,000 points and up)
    • Silver (2,000 points and up)
    • Top Fundraiser
    • Top Foodraiser
    • Top Number of Volunteer Shifts
    • Most Creative
    • Top Individual Donor
    • New for 2014:  Weekly winners!
  • How do I get barrels for food collection?

    If you'd like to have food collection barrels delivered, you can order them online when you register your drive and request your preferred delivery and pickup dates. On the date of your confirmed barrel delivery, our driver will arrive at your location with your barrel and will return for pickup on your confirmed pickup date. Please be sure to note any special delivery instructions when you register for your barrels.  

    Delivery and pickup dates are requested via the online registration form. Barrel deliveries and pickups occur Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Due to our drivers’ tight schedules, we are unable to accommodate a narrow delivery time window.

    When requesting barrels, we ask that you commit to collecting at least 100 pounds of food (about 2/3 of a barrel). Please keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate all barrel delivery requests, as our resources are limited. We also ask that you allow at least 48 hours from registration for your barrels to be delivered.

  • My barrel is full. How can I arrange a swap?

    If your barrel fills up more than 5 business days before your final pickup is scheduled, we can have our driver come out to your site to pick up the full barrel and leave an empty one behind so that you can collect more food. Please fill out our Barrel Swap Form, and we will get your swap scheduled as soon as we are able.

    Please allow up to five business days for us to accommodate your swap. Because we are not always able to get to your location immediately, please contact us for a swap when your barrel becomes 2/3 full.

  • What foods are needed most?

    Our most needed items are:

    • Tuna, canned meat
    • Peanut butter
    • Soup, chili
    • Beans
    • Cereal
    • Canned fruit and vegetables
    • Granola bars

    No glass or perishable items, please!

    Some general guidelines:

    • Only donate items that you would eat.
    • Check that items are still within their “Use before” date.
    • Avoid glass items, which can break.
    • Avoid perishable items like dairy items, meat, chicken, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • We can only accept unopened items. We can accept opened packages if the internal packaging is still intact.


  • How do I register for volunteer shifts?

    Find the Food from the Bar volunteer page here. Please note that shifts are limited! The Food Bank relies on volunteer support, and we ask that when registering for a shift that you commit to the time you have booked. This helps us to alleviate last minute cancellations and distribution issues that might arise. If you must cancel a shift, please call Volunteer Services at least 48 hours in advance to notify them of the change at (415) 282-1900.

  • What does the Food Bank provide for my drive, and how do I get my materials?

    The Food Bank can provide all of the basic materials needed for a drive including a customized fundraising page, food barrels and posters with a list of most-needed food items. Check our Food from the Bar Helpful Resources page to find the downloadable poster and sample text for your emails to drive participants.

  • Where do my donations go?

    Because we can leverage our bulk purchasing power to supplement food donations from manufacturers and farms, we're able to distribute $6 of food for every $1 donated. And 96% of all donated resources go directly to support our programs.

    Food donations get sorted by our volunteers and then distributed to our 450 community organization partners who use it to prepare meals for those in need or to supplement the larger deliveries they receive from us. All food donated goes directly into the community.

  • Can I donate by cash/check?

    You bet! To assure that all donations are counted toward your team goal, please include your company or team name. Please send all donations via FedEx, mail, or messenger to:

    SF-Marin Food Bank
    Attn: Food and Fund Drives
    900 Pennsylvania Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94107

    Please note, if you are sending cash, we recommend that you send it via FedEx or messenger. You can also donate online through your team’s fundraising page.

  • How do I get my tax donation receipt?

    Individuals who donate online will receive an automated receipt via email. People who send monetary donations to the Food Bank of $5 or more will receive a receipt by mail.

  • How do I participate in my company's matching gift program?

    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. For more information on Workplace Giving with the food bank, click here.