Set Your Budget

At this point you are probably asking:

Does it cost more to be a choice pantry?

Not always. It comes down to how much food you are currently offering and whether you change that amount. If you increase how much food you are purchasing to fit the food bag guide, then the cost may go up.

In this section, we will review ways to bring in the food you need while saving money.

How can it cost less to be choice?

When your neighbors only take what they need, they may not take as much as you offer or would give them. Over time, you learn what food your guests want and therefore only fill your shelves with food they want/need and reduce your food waste.

Since you are not pre-bagging, you can reduce your supply costs. You can also encourage your guests to bring their own bags.

Let’s get to the bottom dollar.

Recall the beginning of step 4, we calculated the total pounds you would need if you provided each person with nine meals? It was 1,620lbs.

Interesting tidbit:

The average shared maintenance cost of food for Lowcountry Food Bank partners is $0.09 per pound.

If you increase how much food you are purchasing to fit the food bag guide, then the total cost of food may go up. We review ways to bring in the food while saving money later in budgeting.

1,620lbs needed x $0.09 shared maintenance fee= $145.80 per month

If you have ordered food through us in the past, you know that sometimes certain foods do not have a shared maintenance (like produce) and other foods have a higher shared maintenance. Sometimes LCFB doesn’t have all of the food you need to fill the sections of your pantry and you may need to purchase food from other sources. That being said, for the purpose of this section, we used the average shared maintenance cost of getting all of your food from LCFB.

We created a handy tool for you to approximate the cost per food group.

To use this worksheet:

  1. Download and save this worksheet.
  2. Enter your total number of individuals served per month at the top of the page.
  3. The worksheet will determine the pounds of food needed and the cost based on purchasing food through the Lowcountry Food Bank. The amount of food needed is based on the food bag guide.
  4. From here you can determine exactly how much money to raise based on what you would like to serve or are currently serving.

Budgeting Projector

Reflect on your budget.

Let’s reflect on the budgeting section you just completed. Be honest and thoughtful as you share your response to each question.

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