Give Hope By Giving Food
Donations help us fill our inventory and continue to serve Iowans facing food insecurity. Were incredibly grateful for the continued generosity of people like you. We couldnt do what we do without your help.
Your donation makes a difference for Iowans in need. Every item of food we distribute goes to children, families and seniors in our communities who are struggling with hunger.
There are many ways individuals, families and organizations can make a difference by donating food to the Food Bank of Iowa. Find out how you can help us help those in need.
Are Food Banks The Answer
Food banks hand out emergency parcels to meet an immediate need: the thousands of people across the country who would not have anything to eat that day otherwise.
But many volunteers and charity workers agree: food poverty cant be separated from poverty, and food handouts are not the answer to the UKs poverty problem. They want the government to strengthen the benefits system and improve low pay across the country to make sure people can afford food in the first place.
Sabine Goodwin, coordinator for IFAN, told The Big Issue: The buck cannot stop at the doors of food banks.
She added ministers must reinstate the £20 per week to universal credit and working tax credits. The cut, amounting to a £1,040 annual loss for claimants, is pushing 500,000 people into poverty, anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said.
IFAN is working with dozens of local authorities to implement a cash-first approach to ending demand for food aid, signposting people struggling to afford food to sources of financial support.
This means distributing leaflets to guests as well as campaigning for jobs to pay the real living wage, and for food poverty to be tackled through increased incomes on a national scale.
Your Donations Make A Difference
You may not see the direct effects, but your donations make a huge difference to the many people who use or rely on food banks or soup kitchens.
If you donate at your local supermarket to a Trussell Trust food bank, your donations will form part of a food parcel that provides at-risk families with enough food for at least three days of healthy, balanced meals.
These parcels change peoples lives. Your act of kindness greatly impacts peoples futures. In addition, if you buy products by a brand that supports a social cause such as us at Integritty Foods who promise to give a soup to a person in need for every soup we sell you can have an even greater effect.
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Use Social Media To Fight Hunger
You can also support food banks at the click of a button. Follow your local food bank on social media. Like their posts, comment and share them, suggestions Jeff. Hunger is often misunderstood, so the more we share information about hunger and the more we engage other people, the better. And thats something we can all do.
One more suggestion: research what resources are available and share that information with your local network. Because of the hidden nature of hunger, you might not know if a friend or neighbor is struggling with food insecurity. And, due to the pandemic, a lot of people are dealing with food insecurity for the first time and dont know where to go for help. Sharing out resources in a supportive, non-judgmental way can make a world of difference.
Tie Donation Amounts To Outcomes
When fundraising, its essential to show potential donors that your food bank is a good and efficient steward of funds.
When donors are able to clearly see what their donations will enable, its easier for them to visualize the impact. This, in turn, makes them more likely to give.
To accomplish this, add a sentence to your fundraising appeal or to your donation form about what the donation amount will buy/provide/supply/enable.
Five families with food for a week? Is a month worth of food for a family? 100 individual meals?
Remember, if you dont want to do this in the main body of the text of your fundraising appeal, you can set these up in your donation form.
Pro tip: Consider highlighting the importance of monetary donations. For example, you could highlight how your food bank buys food items in bulk and receive charity discounts which means their money can go a longer way than if they purchased the food themselves.
Pro tip: Share how moving food items takes a lot of time, money, and volunteer effort to sort, store, and distribute. Underline how in-kind gifts do not support your important operating costs, educative programming, or efforts to effect policy change.
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What Items Make The Best Food Bank Donations
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TORONTO More Canadians are using food banks, but whats available to eat doesnt always meet the need.
Yet hunger doesnt take a holiday.
People do often think about supporting their local food bank or making extra donations of food or money or volunteering around Thanksgiving, the Christmas and holiday periods, and theyre not often thinking about that all year-round, says Katharine Schmidt, executive director of Food Banks Canada.
We find that food banks are struggling more through the spring and summer because of that. The demand doesnt go down and yet the support can really fluctuate.
What Impact Means For Charitiesand For Your Donations
Some charities create a lot of change with the donations given to them. Others have almost nothing to show for the money coming from donors, says Greg Thomson, director of research at Charity Intelligence , a non-profit that helps Canadians make informed giving decisions.
Indeed, there are charities that can take a $100-donation and turn it into nearly $700 worth of value for the people it supports and society at large. For example, a charity that helps at-risk teens could provide a sizable financial benefit to the youth who use its programs , as well as to the greater community through costs savings to the public health-care and shelter systems.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are charities that destroy value, perhaps producing just $40 worth of measurable change from the same $100-donation because of spending too much in relation to the benefit they create. For example, charities that grant wishes to critically ill children often spend upwards of $25,000 per child, but the value provided to the child and their family is much lower, says Thomson.
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Bread For The World: Have Faith End Hunger
Bread for the World was founded in 1974 by a group of Christians led by Rev. Art Simon, after he found himself regularly responding to emergencies caused by hunger and poverty in New York. Today, the charity is dedicated to ending world hunger and child malnutrition through its numerous hunger programs.
Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Bread for the World spent 81% of its income on program services and 19% on administration and fundraising. The charity also has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
Moved by Gods grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.
Bread for the World
What they do: Bread for the World regularly communicates with Congress to inspire a change in the legislation that addresses hunger in the US and abroad. Alongside their network of churches and like-minded organizations, including the Alliance to End Hunger, Bread for the World educates the public on the world hunger issue and inspires them to make a difference. In addition, the charity runs numerous research projects to come up with practical solutions to world hunger and presents them to US leaders.
Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Bread for the World through their website. You can also support the charity by getting involved in their campaigns by sending your own letter to Congress using their Activist tools and resources.
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Heifer International: Empowering People To Escape Poverty
Heifer International was founded in 1944 by farmer Dan West, after returning home from feeding fatigued refugees affected by the Spanish Civil War. He realized that giving food was only a short-term solution, however, the donation of cattle would be able to feed a family for years. Today, the charity provides livestock to starving families around the globe and empowers farmers to change their own fates.
Investing in a new breed of success.
What they do: Heifer International works with poverty-stricken communities in 21 countries around the globe. It starts with the donation of livestock or agriculture. This is then followed by a mentorship program to train farmers in how to run successful businesses and connect individuals with high-value markets. Through their ground-breaking Hatching Hope program, Heifer International equips farmers in Mexico, Kenya, and India, with the tools and knowledge they need to grow sustainable chicken farms.
Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Heifer International through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing much-needed items from their Gift Catalog, such as goats, chickens, and other sustainable farming tools.
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Use This Lemonade Recipe
Just like picking a pair of sunglasses or a purse, lemonade recipes are a very personal thing. I dont love sweet drinks so it is rare that I like lemonade.
Adjust the sweetness to your liking!
The recipe below is basically one large pitcher of lemonade multiplied by 4. It will get you started at your stand but if you are in a high traffic area, have extra ingredients on hand to make more if needed.
What Can You Donate To A Food Bank
Most food banks have clear guidance on what they put in a parcel, meaning deciding what to donate is simple. They tend to have lists on their website or social media pages with exactly what items they need its important to keep to this list. They might be overwhelmed by donations of pasta, for example, but not have any tinned vegetables to give to guests.
The main thing to bear in mind is that whatever you give may be stored for some time before it goes to those who need it. Avoid things like fresh fruit and veg, fish, meat and dairy products as it might go bad and the food bank is unlikely to accept it.
According to the Trussell Trust, a food parcel typically includes: cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, beans and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea or coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk, and fruit juice.
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Why You Should Donate To A Food Bank
Between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022, food banks in the Trussell Trusts UK wide network distributed over 2.1 million emergency food parcels to people in crisis.
This is an increase of 14 per cent compared to the same period in 2019/20, with 832,000 of the parcels going to children. Compared to five years ago, the need for food banks in The Trussell Trust network has increased by 81 per cent.
Over 14.5 million people are living in poverty in the UK, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. That includes 4.3 million children.
The cost of living crisis will worsen poverty rates, with more than one million people set to be plunged into poverty this winter.
While anti-poverty campaigners lobby for long-term solutions like making the universal credit increase permanent, lifting the benefit cap and ending the two-child limit there remains an immediate need for people to get food even when they cant afford it.
So What Food Should You Donate
As fuel costs rise, Shepard recommends donating food items that are quick and easy to cook. These include:
Tinned meat and tuna
Period products Some hubs also take clothes. Always check first.
The above lists will work for the majority of food banks, but its useful to remember that every centre operates differently, so it can be helpful to ask what your local group is looking for, before making donations.
Pesh Kapasiawala, the founder of 3food4u, which runs food hubs in Waltham Abbey, Loughton, Chipping Ongar and Chigwell Row, has created a model that focuses on fresh food. Clients do not need a referral from social services, a church or their GP .
The charity accepts some donations, but largely works with distributors who usually supply restaurants, supermarkets and schools, to intercept excess food that might otherwise go to waste.
Around 80% of the food we give out is fresh, he tells HuffPost. But we still give the long life food because we do appreciate that people still need to have something in the cupboard as well for a rainy day.
Fresh food is often associated with high cooking costs, but Kapasiawala believes giving it out in volume can still help those facing high bills.
The majority of food banks give out parcels that need to be topped up at the supermarket, he says. Instead, 3food4u gives out three or four bags of shopping to clients often worth £100 with the aim of providing everything needed for a week of meals.
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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.
Foodus Food Banks Struggle To Feed Hungry Amid Surging Prices
In many ways, the little pantries expand the social contacts for people in the community, she explained. If you are feeding people, you know who is in need, and that means you can use your own social contacts to help people right there, without paperwork and bureaucracy.
Food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person within a home to live, and because many hungry households do not qualify for federal nutrition programs, they rely solely on local food banks for survival.
Feeding America, the nations largest hunger-relief organization with 200 food banks across the country, estimates that 42 million people in the United States, including 13 million children, will experience food insecurity this year.
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Is It Better To Donate Food Or Money To A Food Bank
Tatosian told TODAY that, while all donations are helpful, monetary donations allow food banks to stretch a dollar.
We have a really great purchasing power, so money would go a bit further, because we can purchase in a wide range at cost, she said.
Regardless of donation, both Tatosian and Foster acknowledged a feeling of gratitude for people wanting to give.
Were very appreciative of donations, Tatosian said. Its amazing that people want to donate.
Donate Your Time: Volunteer At A Food Bank
In addition to food and financial donations, you have a precious resource that all food banks need your time! Food banks and pantries rely heavily on volunteers for their day-to-day operations.
Best of all, there are lots of different ways you can lend a helping hand depending on your skill set, physical abilities and schedule availability. Although the pandemic has impacted many food banks, most have found ways to allow volunteers to work safely, with proper health and social distancing precautions.
We have made some big shifts in regards to our volunteer program here at Second Harvest, shared Jeff. We have volunteers ensure that they are healthy before they arrive. They use hand sanitizer and we make sure they have masks on. We keep everybody six feet apart. Were really thinking about how we can limit exposure to COVID-19 amongst our volunteer group and our staff. We have very strict protocols.
A common need among food banks is for volunteers to process incoming donations and pack distribution boxes. This involves light lifting and a little bit of walking, but generally is not physically intensive work. Typical activities might be checking incoming produce, sorting donations, separating bulk foods into individual or family servings, packing an assortment of foods and supplies in individual- and family-sized boxes and distributing those boxes at contactless pick-up sites.
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What To Donate To Food Banks As Cooking Costs Rise
Life Editor at HuffPost UK
With household bills set to skyrocket in April, food banks and community hubs are already seeing the impact of the cost of living crisis.
Amid concerns about rising fuel costs, the charitys CEO, Nicky Shepard, tells HuffPost UK that people dont want things that need to cook for a long time. Hub users will choose packets of pre-cooked rice, for example, instead of uncooked rice that takes 20 minutes to boil.
It comes after Icelands CEO Richard Walker told BBC Radio 4s Today programme that some food bank users are refusing to take raw potatoes, due to rising cooking costs.
Its worth mentioning that the people we work with have been struggling since October or before, Shepard adds. For the people were working with, theres not enough coming in to cover fuel costs now. So the increase is going to be devastating for people.