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Standard Operating Procedures Recommended for Distributing Food Via a Drive-up Distribution Model

Download a PDF of this document here.

For the health and well-being of our community, Food Bank of the Rockies is providing this Drive-Up Food Distribution Procedure Outline.  Implementing the following allows us to continue providing food to those in need while keeping you, your volunteers, and community healthy. 

We realize that not all food distribution locations are created equal, so please utilize this template to provide a safe distribution that fits your program.  Please contact a Food Bank of the Rockies Program Representative if you need further assistance in developing a drive-up distribution.


This model keeps food recipients in their cars and encourages social distancing. If you have a concern regarding traffic control, contact local law enforcement.   It is recommended to utilize local authorities as numbers grow to help maintain the organization and efficiency of the distribution, as well as assistance in directing traffic.

Set up

  • Create an assembly line with food, bags, boxes to prepack food assortment.
  • Predetermine how many bags or boxes per food assortment – one assortment per family.
  • Provide hand sanitizer or hand washing stations, gloves if available
    • Any volunteers handling food or sign-ins need to frequently wash hands or use hand sanitizer.   Consider assigning a volunteer to hand out hand sanitizer frequently during distribution.
  • Determine the flow of traffic and set up signage as needed to lead clients in cars vs. clients on foot (those without transportation only).
  • Set up client intake area – clipboards, pens, appropriate intake forms, safety cones

Volunteer Assignments

  • Remind volunteers of the two most important elements of distribution: social distancing and hand washing/sanitizing. Appoint a staff member or volunteer to oversee and remind, ensuring that people remain at least six feet apart
  • Pre-bag or box food
    • Start this at least an hour before distribution starts
    • Determine the order in which items should be placed in the box or bag, placing heavier items on the bottom
  • Directing cars where to go – arrival, lining up, exiting
  • A volunteer will direct vehicles to form a line and organize the flow by following each sites’ respective order. Utilize orange safety cones to help in this effort.  Local authorities should be notified of the distribution date and time to assist with traffic, as needed.
  • Communicate process to clients as they form a line in their cars; make them feel comfortable and welcome
    • For any clients arriving on foot, have volunteers available to direct them to an area for intake to receive their food.  Ensure proper social distance is obtained between clients and volunteers.  Consider spacing orange cones 6 feet apart to reflect and ensure social distancing.
  • Client intake
    • Depending on the duration of the distribution and the number of clients, plan to have an adequate number of volunteers to conduct intake; include at least one for any walk-in clients (no personal transportation)

Check in

  • Volunteers will walk up to cars, keeping a safe social distance of at least 6 feet, and use appropriate paper intake forms asking clients for their information to be written down by the volunteer         
    • Do not hand the clip board or pen to the client.
    • At this time, signatures are not required for CSFP and TEFAP forms.
    • Ask the questions and fill out the intake forms for each client coming through.
  • No Link2Feed computer intake at this time
    • Write down client ID number if they can provide it next to their name to be input later
  • Once intake is complete, use a window marker or bar of soap to mark windshield to identify car as “check-in complete” and the number of food boxes to be loaded.

Loading Food

  • Client should be instructed to open the trunk of their car or unlock the door to a back door of vehicle
  • Pre-bagged or boxed food is placed in client’s trunk or back seat of car
  • Do not let clients exit their car or try to assist in getting food to their vehicle.

Walk-up Clients:

There may be clients who do not drive and arrive on foot, by bike, or public transportation.   Clients on foot should form a separate line a safe distance (at least 6 feet) from food, volunteers, and other clients. They will be handed their pre-bagged food and cannot remain on the premises for non-emergencies.

  • A separate station for walk-ups should set up at the site
    • These clients will walk up on their own and get their product. They will need to be checked in before receiving food

If any clients express a need for more assistance of any sort, please direct them to call Food Bank of the Rockies, 303.371.9250 or foodbankrockies.org, where we will be more than happy to help them with further assistance.




10700 E. 45th AVE, Denver, CO 80239 | 303-371-9250
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