Monday, November 27, 2023

Best Donations For Food Banks

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Highlight The Most Needed Items

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When fundraising, specificity almost always beats generality. People respond better to appeals that make it clear what is needed and/or what will the money be used for.

Consider highlighting the Most Needed Items on your food bank fundraising page. Your Most Needed Items could be items like canned legumes, canned fish/meat, peanut butter, fruit and vegetables , cereal, rice, and boxed macaroni and cheese, baby food, and personal care items

In the image below, Trussell Trust encourages its readers to support their local food bank if theyre able to by checking what items are most needed in the search box, and donating those if they are able to.

What Not To Donate To Food Banks And Food Pantries

While the intention is always appreciated, there are many items that food banks cant accept or cant use. These include:

  • Any expired foods or foods that are close to expiring always check the expiration date first before donating!
  • Any chemicals stronger than normal household cleansers food banks have strict storage rules to prevent food contamination

Directly To Your Local Food Bank

Find your nearest food bank by .

Once youve been shown your local food bank, you can click on the local website for that food bank, showing you the times when theyre open for donations.

Most importantly, each food bank keeps their site updated regarding which items they have enough of, and which items they are in urgent need of. If youre planning on donating and havent gone out to buy the items yet check your local food banks website first to find out what these urgently needed items are.

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The Best Things To Donate To A Food Pantry Are

More than ever, Americans are depending on their communitys social services to make ends meet. Stagnant wages and outsourcing of jobs overseas is causing economic instability for many. When unemployment assistance runs out and the heavily-slashed food stamps program cant cover a familys needs, many turn to food pantries in their neighborhoods.

If you want to donate to your local food bank in a way that makes a huge difference, purchase items that are always needed and short on supply.

The Best Items Your Food Bank Needs The Most

The Best Foods to Donate to Food Banks

It is that time of the year where we get to start thinking about what delicious foods we will gather around whilst talking with those who we hold closest to us. Have you ever thought about how all of us have one particular thing in common that unites us all? We want to say that it is food. However, some people in our communities do not have the access to such items to make meals for themselves as well as their families. So, you might be wondering what to donate to a food pantry? We are here to help answer that question.

To begin, The Gateway Region YMCA is a nonprofit, 501 charity dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving health and well-being, and supporting and serving our neighbors. We believe in giving back to our communities who do so much for us! In an attempt to give back, we encourage not only our Y members to give back, but also those people who reside in our communities. When you give back to food banks in your area, that action gives back directly to your neighbors, and makes an influence greater than we will ever know. After all, some people who attend food banks are going through hard times and might be ashamed to otherwise ask for assistance. You are not only helping out strangers but potentially friends and family, too.


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How Do You Use A Food Bank

To receive a 3-day parcel from a Trussell Trust food bank and most independent food banks, you’ll need a food voucher, for which you’ll need a referral.

You may be able to get a referral and voucher from a number of different agencies and organisations, including housing associations, your GP or mental health teams, advice charities including Citizen’s Advice and children’s centres, who will assess your need. The Trussell Trust also advise that you can call or email your local Trussell Trust food bank, who will let you know which referral agencies they work with in your area.

Once you have your voucher, you can go to your local food bank, where you will be welcomed by trained volunteers. They’ll sit down with you and discuss your needs, provide a food parcel and also potentially help you find support.

How Many People Use Food Banks

Between April 2018 and March 2019, 1.6 million 3-day food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust. This is just part of the picture as it doesn’t include the independent food banks represented by IFAN. Covid-19 has caused a huge increase in demand, and the numbers are likely to be at least double by the end of 2020.

According to a report by The Trussell Trust published in November 2019, a survey of over 1000 people using a food bank revealed that:

  • 94% were facing real destitution, unable to buy essentials to stay warm, dry, clean and fed
  • More than 75% were in arrears, most commonly rent, and 40% were repaying debts
  • 22% were single parents
  • Over two-thirds had experienced a problem with the benefits system in the year before they used a food bank – including long waits and benefit award reductions

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Five Other Ideas For Foods That Might Be Overlooked:

  • Whole grains such as farro, spelt, barley and brown or wild rice are high in fibre and contain iron and magnesium. They can be added to soup, chili and salad
  • Baby formula and cereal and pureed fruit and veggies are needed by children for optimal development
  • Inexpensive and versatile lentils are a source of protein and high in fibre. Theyre easy to cook and dont require soaking first
  • Milk, and alternatives like powdered milk or fortified shelf-stable almond, soy and rice milk, are a source of calcium and vitamins D and A
  • Canned fruit packed in water, with no added sugar, is a source of vitamin C
  • When possible choose unbreakable containers glass jars dont always survive transport.

    Best Foods For Food Donation

    Healthiest foods to donate to food banks

    Danice Tatosian, Director of Community Nutrition at Food Bank For New York City, told TODAY that what foods to donate or avoid donating is a topic that arises frequently.

    Protein and dairy are always a really great option, she explained. Fish, shelf-stable dairy, vegetables and fruit. Fresh is great, but dried fruit and canned vegetables that are low in sodium are good.

    “Another category is culturally significant food. There is such a huge range of communities with specific needs, so kosher, halal and vegan foods are great to get.

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    Why Donate To Food Banks Specifically

    âFood banks generally are very efficient in their logistics processes, affording the food industry a one-stop place for donations that they can trust will be handled with best-in-class food safety considerations,â says Michael Guerra, chief development officer for the San Antonio Food Bank in Texas. âFood banks also work to equitably distribute donated food to local nonprofits that have food as a part of their missionâfood pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, etc.â And, he adds, food banks are often the primary organization in a community that aims at minimizing food insecurity among low-income households and under-resourced households in that community.

    In addition to providing food, Guerra says most food banks also provide nutritional education and access to public safety programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program .

    What Not To Donate To A Food Bank

    Tatosian that while the food bank is appreciative of all donations, they do try to avoid certain items.

    We dont accept anything in glass containers, because it can break and spoil other food, she shared. We really try to avoid, when possible, candy donations, sugar sweetened beverages soda, sweetened teas, sports drinks baked goods such as cookies, cakes, pastries, sweetened muffins.

    For both large and small food pantries, donating spoiled or rotten food should always be avoided.

    Cars would drive by and drop bags full of groceries that I’d have to mostly throw out open containers, grossly expired food, cookies with some missing from the sleeve, things that were moldy, Foster explained. It was its own full-time job just sorting through it all.

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    Cheesy Mexican Breakfast Casserole + Fight Hunger

    • 1/2cupblack beans
    • 1can Ro*telliquid drained off
    • 1 1/2cupspotato chunksI used the prepared, partially cooked kind you buy in the refrigeration section of the store
    • 1cupcorn kernelsI roasted mine first for extra flavor
    • 32ouncesof Southwest flavored egg beaters
    • 1cupshredded Kraft cheese
    • 1cupmozzarella cheese

    What To Avoid Donating

    Donating to your local food bank: what goods to give

    Shelf-stable, nutrient-dense food is what people who struggle with food insecurity need most. Although you may think a donation of chips, candy, or other treats might help break up the monotony of the typical donations, the food bank representatives I spoke with assured me they receive more than enough junk food, and that high-quality, nutritious foods are what they really need.

    We get a lot of snacks, says Kaupp. Obviously, people need snack foods as a treat too, but youd be surprised at how much we get. Morris echoes the sentiment: Although we love the generosity, we really dont need more candy or soda or anything like that.

    Damaged, Unlabeled, or Home-Canned Food

    For food safety reasons, items like rusty or dented cans, unlabeled packages, or non-commercially packaged food cannot be distributed. The same goes for perishable items, opened containers, and for some food banks food in glass containers. If you are unsure, ask your local food bank for their guidelines before donating.

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    Healthy & Inexpensive Food Pantry Donations

    November 17, 2015 by Chrissy Carroll

    I am in full-out holiday spirit. I was doing a little browsing at the store the other day and it made me so happy to see all the fun holiday decorations out. I love this time of year and all it stands for giving, compassion, love, joy.

    One thing I try to do every holiday season is find some way to give back. Its not always a lot, Ill admit. As Im sure many of you in the Northeast know, this area can be expensive after rent, utilities, and all the other standard financial obligations. But no matter what, my husband and I like to make sure that we set aside some of our everyday money to do something nice for charity, particularly around this time of year.

    List Of Food Pantry Items For Donations

  • Monetary Donations for Food Pantry Items
  • If you wish to donate food to fight hunger, you should check what local food banks require to not burden food banks with the food items that take up a lot of space or are not required. You will find food pantry items that you should donate to food banks in this article.

    You need to remember that food banks clients may suffer from various health issues like diabetes, so foods with high fiber or low sugar are better than processed foods. You can also start a food drive instead of donating food to a food bank. No matter which source of donation you choose, there are certain things you should keep in mind before donating anything.

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    How To Volunteer For A Food Bank

    With over 30% of food bank project managers over 65 years old and therefore classed as at-risk, food banks are struggling with a lack of personnel to help deliver parcels due to Covid restrictions. Speaking to the Guardian, Emma Revie said, We are definitely in need of additional volunteers. One of our biggest threats is people becoming unwell and unable to volunteer.

    Your local council website is likely to have a page on volunteering in your area, specifying any food banks local to you and if there are roles and jobs available. You can also search using The Trussell Trust website .

    Monetary Donations For Food Pantry Items

    Food bank struggling to make up meal parcels due to lack of donations

    You can also donate money so that food banks can operate well. The money you donate is used for various operations such as infrastructure, marketing, staff support, and ongoing supplies.

    Money helps them to cover the cost associated with building the pantry in new locations. They also need to give salaries to people that work in the pantry like the food pantry coordinator and different volunteers. Money is also used for marketing services to get the word out into the community.

    We would advise you to include another essential item- a can opener. The people who depend on food banks for food do not have can openers. It will become difficult for them to open the cans they are given.

    So, the next time you go grocery shopping, consider buying a can opener so that it becomes easier for the receiver of your donation to eat what they are given.

    Cooking essentials like spices, salt, pepper, or garlic powder should also be donated. These help in making a meal taste good. Even if you dont have a baby in your house, you should consider donating things for a baby like diapers, baby food, etc. it will make it easier for families that face economic problems to raise their babies.

    You will also find meals in the box in the market these days. This is an excellent option if you want to donate food pantry items. The food bank would happily accept an entire meal in one package.

    Also Check: Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Pantry

    Why Should You Donate To Local Food Banks

    “Millions of vulnerable children are losing the healthy meals they depend on as the closes schools nationwide,” Davis said at the beginning of the pandemic. “As of , 39 states had closed schools entirely. When you add in the districts closed in other states it means 41.6 million kids, or 4 out of 5 kids, are out of school.” Even in areas where the schools were still open, many businesses were closed, which meant hourly workers who may have already been struggling to make ends meet were hit hard.

    Fortunately, as of July 2022, the health risks posed by the pandemic have lessened over time. However, Davis notes that the need and the financial impact has not abated. âFamilies still face ongoing challenges due to the strained supply chain, rising food and gas prices, and skyrocketing inflation,â she says. âToday, one in six kids face hunger in the U.S.â

    According to a recent Feeding America food bank survey, 80 percent of food banks across the country reported an increase or steady demand for food. Food insecurity exists everywhere, says Zuani Villarreal, the senior director of communication for Feeding America. âIt could be your classmate it could be a co-worker it could be your neighbor a fellow church goer that needs help and I think the awareness of that issue should drive people to help,â she says. For this reason, donating to food banks is more important than ever.

    Three Overlooked Donation Options For Food Pantries

    When it comes to making a donation to a food pantry or a food bank, I used to think it was a no brainer. My mind mapped out a Venn diagram of sorts that considered what my dietary staples included, what I knew to be non-perishable items, and then I tried to scoop up whatever overlapped. Rice, peanut butter, canned vegetables, canned fruit, noodles, pasta sauces, soups, sugar, flour, salt, in addition to other baby and personal care items*.

    Still, I realize that a big part of what food banks and food pantries do besides keep people fed is to also provide dignity. With that in mind, Ive tried to expand my donations. If youre looking to push your giving beyond the basics, here are a few of my favorite items to donate.

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    Food Bank Tax Credit For Farms

    The Food Bank Tax Credit for Farms offers qualified farmers the opportunity to recoup the costs of charitable donations with a non-refundable tax credit valued at 25% of the fair market value of your donated food.

    Well pick up your product that is safe to distribute, , weigh it, and issue a tax receipt. If your donation is a smaller amount, please consider donating directly to a member agency in your area. Use our Where to Donate Food tool to find one close to you.

    Support Your Local Food Bank

    Most Needed Items  The Burlington Food Bank

    Donating to a food bank is a wonderful way to help your community and provide a safety net for people in need. Always contact your local food bank or visit their website or social media to find out what their current needs are and bring donations that they will make the best use of. Don’t forget to consider giving your time as well and providing monetary donations to further your food bank’s good work.

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    What To Donate To A Food Bank

    While food banks always provide a minimum of three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods, what you should donate to a food bank differs depending on where you are – and what food bank you’re donating to.

    Typically food banks are looking for donations of food products from supermarkets, such as:

    • Cereal
    • UHT milk
    • Fruit juice

    Lots of food banks will also offer essential non-food items , such as toiletries and hygiene products.

    However, because the supplies to food banks differ between areas, its important to check with your local food bank what kind of supplies theyre most in need of at the moment. An easy way to do this is to use the search box at the bottom of this page , underneath Items to donate. It will tell you the products and food items that your local food bank is in need of at the moment.

    If you are in the position to donate to a local food bank, now is the time to do so, with more people needing their services every day.

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