Tips for residents/travelers

  • If you’re a traveler, before renting ask the owner/manager what they do about leftover food. If their answer is “we leave it for the cleaners,” ask them if they have a system in place. Unless cleaners have a cooler in their car and a way to store food, “leave it for the cleaners” is often a copout, not a workable approach. Also ask if they donate excess items and worn towels (those can go to animal shelters/vets).
  • If you’re buying items and food on vacation that you can’t take with you, research options a few days before checking out. Many food pantries will take unopened perishable food if you deliver it when they’re open. For non-perishables, they often have 24/7 drop-off bins. Consider posting giveaways to online community groups. If you run out of time, directly ask the owner/manager to donate it for you.
  • If you live in a vacation area, consider adopting a building or street that has short-term rentals. If you live in or near a condo building with rentals, you could put a container in the lobby to collect nonperishables from departing vacationers and then deliver it to your local pantry. You could occasionally hold food drives and coordinate donations (including perishables) with your local pantry. If you have space, establish a common area for the sharing of items that are often bought and trashed (beach chairs, coolers, etc.).
  • If you live in a condo or HOA that allows shorter-term rentals, no matter the length, send the above tips on collecting and donating food and items to all homeowners in your regular communications. Same goes for living in a town that allows them. If the city has a way of communicating with residents and vacation homeowners, ask the city to circulate tips on food and item donations.
  • Consider creating a website or page in your community with basic donation info. Talk to us about obtaining your own page on the Vacation Donations website. Our site includes food, beach toys, books, and miscellaneous. You could include whatever is relevant in your community.
  • Start an online donations group or free pantry/fridge in an area with vacation rentals.
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