4 Fun ‘Outside the Box’ Ways to Fight Hunger

A submission for the Canstruction San Francisco gala

This month VolunteerMatch is all about fighting hunger. We’re sharing our favorite tools, tips, blogs and best practices to help hunger organizations recruit the volunteers they need. But enough about us: what about other the other guys?

The organizations below are using fun and innovative tactics to fight hunger. Pursuing a think-outside-the-box strategy has allowed them to engage volunteers in new ways. They’ve been able to connect with new individuals and ultimately diversify their networks of supporters.

Keep reading to find out how they do it!


This organization claims to be the most unique food charity in the world—and they live up to their promise. Canstruction holds annual design and build competitions in which competitors construct huge, elaborate structures using only canned food. The winners, along with all other submissions are displayed in a public gala. Afterwards the structures are broken down and everything is donated to local food banks.  Using traditional tactics, Canstruction brings media attention to an important issue: proof that making a spectacle of your organization isn’t always a bad thing.

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls is an international grass roots organization that also uses art to spread hunger awareness. They bring educators, artists and craftspeople together in order to create handcrafted bowls. Next, supporters are invited to share a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation the handcrafted bowls are taken home. In this way, Empty Bowls provides a tangible, ongoing reminder of the issue, a tip that any nonprofit can apply to the cause it supports.

Teens Fighting Hunger

Within this organization teenagers raise money to fight hunger by selling goods they’ve created—or provided to the public. Teens Fighting Hunger works closely with schools, coordinating class projects that are equal parts education and philanthropy. While students work to create products and raise funds they are also educated about hunger related issues. This approach creates a winning combination of building awareness, engaging teens in service and fundraising for an important cause.

Project 50/50 & #AfricaNeedsYou

Project 50/50’s goals are impressive: 50 states, 50 weeks, 100,000 donations. This organization has devised numerous projects to combat hunger around the world. One such project can be found on Twitter—search for ‘#AfricaNeedsYou’. Targeting influential celebrities, users cans send tweets asking for donations and support of hunger. This is a creative example of how to combine the powers of celebrity and social media for social good. Check out their twitter feed here.

These are just a few examples. Do you know of other organizations fighting hunger in innovative ways? Tell us about them in the comment section below.

Interested in joining the fight against hunger? Click here to register your organization on VolunteerMatch!