Iron-Rich Feast


The Iron-Rich Feast is a community dinner hosted before a blood drive. Since giving blood requires a healthy iron level, your club can host a feast and serve iron-rich foods. This dinner will bring the community together for a fun event to promote the blood drive and help donors increase their iron levels before they donate.



The Iron-Rich Feast will help educate donors about how to maintain healthy iron levels and help them prepare for a successful donation. The feast will also give you the opportunity to recruit new donors for the upcoming blood drive.


How to Get Started

Step 1: Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Define your desired outcomes for the activity and create measurable goals and objectives to guide the planning process. We encourage you to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into your activity and be creative with your approaches.


Step 2: Plan the Details

Determine iron-rich food to serve. You can check out our iron-rich food guide for more information. Here are some foods that are rich in iron:

   • Beef or turkey jerky

   • Broccoli

   • Canned tuna

   • Chickpeas

   • Dark chocolate

   • Raisins

   • Spinach

Determine if you want to charge a small fee for those who attend to help cover the expenses for the feast or to make a monetary donation to the Red Cross.


Step 3: Coordinate the Logistics

Set a date and time

   • We suggest hosting the activity 30 to 60 minutes before a blood drive.


Secure a venue

   • Secure a location for the feast that is close to the location of the blood drive. Consider your school cafeteria, local banquet halls, and recreation centers.


Assign roles and responsibilities

   • This activity requires volunteers to set up and engage in conversations with the donors. Tips that volunteers can share with donors include: 

       • Drink an extra 16 oz. of water (or other nonalcoholic drink) before your appointment.

       • Eat a healthy meal, avoiding fatty foods like hamburgers, fries, or ice cream.

       • Wear a shirt with sleeves that you can roll up above your elbows.

       • Let us know if you have a preferred arm or vein used successfully to draw blood.

       • Relax, listen to music, talk to other donors, or read while you donate.


Gather supplies

   • Create a list of supplies needed and arrange to acquire them in advance.

       • Talk to local businesses and kindly ask if they would be willing to sponsor your activity by providing food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.

       • Gather decorations, plates, napkins, and cups. Ask your school if they could provide these items to support the activity.


Spread the Word

   • Advertise the activity through various channels such as social media, email, and school announcements. Consider including the following links:

       • Donation Process Overview

       • What to Do Before, During and After Your Donation

       • What Happens to Donated Blood

       • Download Your Guide to Foods Rich in Iron

   • Send a reminder with important details prior to the activity.


Step 4: Facilitate the Activity

   • Run through Step 2 and Step 3 in advance and engage the participants throughout the activity.

   • Arrive early to set up for the activity.

   • Label ingredients in the food due to potential food allergies or dietary restrictions.

   • Remind participants to clean up before they leave. We suggest providing trash, compost, and recycling containers to make it easier for participants to dispose of their waste.


Step 5: Debrief and Thank Your Volunteer

   • Invite participants to discuss their experiences and capture lessons learned.

   • Thank everyone who contributed and participated.

   • Remind volunteers to record their hours through Volunteer Connection.