"Feed the Need" Food Drive

Because the need for food in our community is so great, we’ve partnered with multiple organizations to make it easy for you to save BIG and give local during the 2016 “Feed the Need” Food Drive! While this food drive effort provides a great opportunity for Fair patrons to affordably attend The Big Fresno Fair, it holds a deeper meaning and even greater purpose.

As the need for emergency food assistance among families continues to grow and the face of hunger expands, The Salvation Army and Community Food Bank cannot meet the need without our community coming together in support of their efforts. Whether you are a parent, a business that wants to give back to the community, a college student, or just someone who loves the Fair (who doesn’t?), below are the ways you can participate in our 8th annual Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Food Drive!  
  • Wednesday, September 21: “Feed the Need” Food Drive at CBS47 and Fresno State
    • Join us at CBS Studios or the Fresno State Red Lot to officially kick off our “Feed the Need” Food Drive! Donate 12 or more canned food items in exchange for a FREE admission ticket to the 2016 Big Fresno Fair, good for any day Monday through Friday (limit two per car). Find information on both locations below, including donation hours:
CBS 47 Studios:    
5035 E McKinley Ave.
Fresno, CA 93704
Hours: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m
Fresno State Red Lot:
East Barstow Ave.
just west of Cedar Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m
  • Thursday, September 22 – Tuesday, October 12 (noon) – “Feed the Need” Food Drive at the Fresno State Student Cupboard
    • Support Fresno State and save BIG with the 2016 Big Fresno Fair “Feed the Need” Food Drive at the Fresno State Student Cupboard!  Just bring 5 cans of food to the Fresno State Student Cupboard located at 2255 E. Barstow, in the Industrial Technology building, room 144, and receive 1 FREE Fair admission ticket - good only on October 13 - the same day as the Fair’s “Feed the Need” Food Drive!
    • An initiative of the Fresno State Food Security Project, the Student Cupboard provides free food and hygiene items to Fresno State students in need. The Fresno State community, specifically student-run clubs and organizations, is being asked to bring 5 or more canned foods per person to the Fresno State Student Cupboard in exchange for one FREE admission ticket to The Big Fresno Fair good for Thursday, October 13 only.
    • If that’s not enough incentive, the club or organization that donates the most canned foods will be the BIG winner of 20 concert and admission tickets to see Flo Rida on Saturday, October 15 at the Fair. They’ll also win up to 200 additional FREE Fair tickets for every 5 cans donated, good for any remaining day of the Fair! Start saving those cans!
  • Thursday, October 13: The Big Fresno Fair Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Food Drive
    • Fair patrons who bring 5 or more cans of food or other non-perishable food items to The Big Fresno Fair gates on Thursday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. will receive free admission into the Fair that day.
  • NOW – Sunday, October 30: The Corporate Donation Outreach Initiative
    • This year, we are encouraging businesses to join the effort to contribute bulk food donations or monetary contributions. Proceeds go directly to Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army.
    • Your donation will make a difference! Every dollar donated equals seven meals. For those who donate, there are special recognition opportunities with the media, at Opening Ceremonies and on our website – plus special Big Fresno Fair ticket packages available as a “thank you” for support. No donation is too big or too small!
Individually it’s hard to make a big impact, but together as a community we can make a huge difference. All food is donated to the Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army, who provide emergency food assistance to the nearly 500,000 people living in poverty in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Kern counties who are unable to provide food for themselves and their families. All Fresno State food drives also benefit

Success of the “Feed the Need” Food Drive
During the 2015 Big Fresno Fair "Feed the Need" Food Drive, an incredible 271,688 lbs. (or more than 135 tons) of food was collected to help feed those in need in our community bringing the program's seven-year total to nearly 580 tons of food collected and more than 1.1 million meals!

These collection numbers reflect efforts from the Fair-time drive that was held on Thursday, October 15, 2015 in which 55,671 lbs. of food was collected at the Fair gates, coupled with a Fresno State Student Cupboard Food Drive Challenge, the Corporate Donation Outreach Initiative and an Early Food Drive held in partnership with local media partner CBS 47.

The Fair established its partnership with Fresno State last year in an effort to lead an on-campus food drive benefitting the Student Cupboard as part of the overall “Feed the Need” effort. Like this year, the Fresno State community, specifically student-run clubs and organizations, were asked to bring 5 or more canned food items per person to the Fresno State Student Cupboard over a two week period in exchange for a Free Entry Pass to The Big Fresno Fair. Fresno State came forward to support their community by collecting 21,460 lbs. of food that stayed at the Student Cupboard for students in need!

Not to mention, the Fair’s early one-day Food Drive in partnership with CBS 47 resulted in 15,649 lbs. of food.

Finally, the Fair’s Corporate Donation Outreach Initiative resulted in an impressive 178,908 lbs. of food collected in the form of bulk food donations and monetary contributions. Monetary donations are reported in pounds using the formula that every $1 donated can purchase 9 lbs. worth of food. Without the additional support from local businesses the “Feed the Need” Food Drive would not be as successful in helping to feed local families in Fresno County.  

The Big Fresno Fair partners with Community Food Bank and The Salvation Army to help operate this large food drive effort each year and relies on the support of community partners including Save Mart Supermarkets, FoodMaxx, Wells Fargo and local media outlets. As an agricultural-based Fair, The Big Fresno Fair is proud to stand behind this program. Thanks to help from our local community, the Fair looks forward to continuing the fight against hunger and providing assistance to those who have nowhere else to turn.

Again, thank you for coming together to make a difference in a BIG way for our community!  If you are a business that would like to get involved in this effort, please email fairpr@fresnofair.com or call (559) 650-3229.