Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Best Foods To Donate To Food Banks

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What Items Do Food Banks Need Most

Healthiest foods to donate to food banks

Food banks mostly need long-life products that have extended use-by dates or non-perishables such as tinned vegetables and fish, biscuits, and sugar for example.

Tinned foods are often the first thing people think to donate however, other store cupboard essentials like stock cubes, condiments and spices, and jarred sauces are also welcome.

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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.

  • 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.

    Most Needed Food Bank Donations

    Most food pantries have an overabundance of things like corn or beans. This year donate things like peanut butter or canned tuna or chicken.

    While food banks are in major need of donations, especially around the holidays, there are some foods that are more helpful than others. Clearing out your pantry of unwanted items might help you reduce clutter and allow you to make a donation, but if you dont want some strange can of food chances are a food pantry wont benefit from it either. Some of the most needed food bank donations are often the most forgotten. Make your donation a little more beneficial this year with items like:

    Consider donating items that are appropriate for several age groups like instant oatmeal or various canned fruits and vegetables.

    Peanut butter & jelly Full meals in a can/box Instant breakfasts Instant mashed potatoes

    Food pantries are in dire need of foods for varied diets. High-protein items that can be created into balanced meals for people of all ages are in demand. While any donation is appreciated, food pantries want to be able to provide a good source of nutrients for individuals and families.

    Add value to your donation this holiday season. Dont donate anything you wouldnt be happy to feed your family.

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    Food For Me: Citizen Action For Community Food Recovery

    Originally prepared by C. Joyce Kleffner, Extension educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Revised and updated by Kate Yerxa, Extension educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

    For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit Find more of our publications and books at

    Take this chart with you when you go grocery shopping to help you choose healthy foods to donate to the food pantries, or use it to help you organize a community food drive.

    Check with your county University of Maine Cooperative Extension office for a listing of pantries or food assistance programs in your area and accompanying donation information, or visit the County Search for Food Assistance Programs on the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources website.

    If you want to donate fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables or other perishable food items, please call the food pantry first to be sure they can accept them. Keep these items refrigerated or frozen to keep them safe.

    Can You Put Alcohol In A Food Bank

    Healthy Food Bank Donations: What To Give

    Alcohol isnt something food banks give out, for fairly obvious reasons, as much as its a part of Christmas for millions of families. But more than that, its also a large part of a lot of festive staples. A classic Christmas pudding will include as much as 5% brandy, with others also including cider, sherry and rum.

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    During This Pandemic The Best Thing To Donate To A Food Bank Is Money

    First, a food bank isnt the same thing as a food pantry. A food bank is a non-profit organization that stores food in large warehouses. Food banks regularly deliver this food to food pantries and other community distribution centers, where the food gets passed out. When you donate food or money, you generally donate to a food bank, which then distributes to local food pantries where food gets handed out.

    At this point in the pandemic, most food banks are accepting food donations, so donating certain food items is great. Frankly, though, what food banks need most is money. Because food banks have direct relationships with food suppliers, they pay less for food than you do at the store. Your dollar literally goes further when you give it straight to a food bank instead of using it to buy food that youll donate. This is true all the time, not just in the midst of a global pandemic.

    Of course, COVID-19 has brought new challenges to food banks. Feeding Americas COVID-19 Response Fund goes directly to food banks across the country who are spending more money than usual to operate as safely as possible. You can donate here.

    Dried Herbs And Spices

    Spices like black pepper, basil and cinnamon can be little luxuries to the less fortunate, and they come with added health benefits. This is a healthy way to add flavor to salads or meat without additional salt to the diet, Chou says. Turmeric, cumin, parsley and rosemary are other healthful options to donate. Health benefit: Theyre high in polyphenols and antioxidants, which delay cell damage.

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    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.

    Bread For The World: Have Faith End Hunger

    Smithfield Foods to donate 80K+ pounds to NC food banks

    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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    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 .

    Which Gluten Free Foods Can I Donate To My Food Bank

    Food banks typically focus on non perishable tinned and dried foods. You can donate gluten free staple foods such as breakfast cereal, pasta and biscuits as well as rice, tinned fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and soup.

    A small number of food banks have freezers and are able to accept fresh bread for freezing. Contact your local food bank to see if it is able to accept shorter shelf life products such as gluten free bread.

    For information on benefits and financial advice see:

    • Turn2us have a number of easy to use tools include a benefits calculator, to find out what support you may be entitled to and a Grant Search to find out if you are eligible for financial help or support from a charitable fund. You can also find an adviser using their website.
    • Age UK also have an online Benefits Calculator and have trained advisors in over 150 areas who could help support you
    • Citizens Advice can also provide advice about money, benefits, housing or employment, either face to face, by phone or online by web chat, contact details are available on their website.

    Recommended Reading: How Do You Qualify For Food Banks

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    Best Foods To Donate To A Food Drive

    The holiday season is full of opportunities to give to those who cant afford to put nourishing meals on their familys table.

    And we desperately need to take advantage of these opportunities.

    Though hunger may sound like a problem of the past since obesity is often the more visible and talked-about issue this is far from the truth. More than 49 million Americans live in food-insecure households, and 16 million of these people are children.

    What hungry families need is not the Kraft Mac & Cheese thats been sitting at the back of our pantry for two years, or the ketchup we never got around to using. Rather, they need healthy, high-quality foods that promote good eating habits any improved overall health.

    Below are some of the best foods you can donate to a food drive or food bank.

    Top 10 Foods to Give to a Food Bank

    1. Canned fish and lean meats. Canned salmon, tuna, and chicken are high in protein and provide a great base for healthy meals.

    2. Peanut butter / other nut butters. These or packaged nuts are great sources of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fat. Theyre an especially helpful donation because theyre usually too expensive for food banks to purchase in sufficient quantities.

    3. Healthy soups and stews. Look for low-sodium, organic, and natural brands of canned soup or stew. These provide needed nutrients and a way for families with limited resources to sit down to a healthy family meal.

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    10 Best Foods to Donate To a Food Drive

    Foster told TODAY that in her experience as a smaller pantry, meat and fresh vegetables are highly coveted food items.

    A lot of the donation boxes have canned meat and cooked meat, like meatballs and chicken patties, to serve unhoused families, or folks without kitchens, she explained. But fresh meat and vegetables make people with kitchens very happy.

    For community grassroots food efforts like hers, Foster advised people to give what no one will get anywhere else.

    Pantry items, she said. Salt, sugar, condiments, baking items, spices, herbs, tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, Sazón, garlic powder, hot sauce. Every couple of months we did giant pantry giveaways where the community gave us cash, and we just bought all kinds of pantry items. People loved it because they are getting boxes with squash and cooked meatballs, but no cooking oil, no salt. How can you make a dinner your kids will eat without salt?

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    Food Banks: Donating Cash Is The Best Way To Help

    Grocery shoppers nationwide are noticing that some food is costing more this year, due to rising inflation and supply chain problems leading to delivery delays. That same issue is hitting local food banks, who are providing meals to a growing number of families.

    ABC10 is partnering with local food banks to Stand Against Hunger, so ABC10 asked about what challenges theyre facing right now and how people can make the biggest impact.

    RELATED: Join ABC10 and Wells Fargo in the Stand Against Hunger

    It is a very real issue, especially here with the rising cost of food and rent and gas, said Jessica Vaughan, development director for Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, which like so many people across the U.S. is seeing changes in the cost and availability of food.

    When we are purchasing a pallet of food, it’s going to go ahead and cost us about 15% to 20% more than it did this time last year or even six months ago, Vaughan said, adding that corporate partners like Raleys, Walmart and Foster Farms have remained consistent and supportive despite the current challenges.

    Jorge Lupercio, director of operations at the Placer Food Bank, said theyre seeing cost increases up to 20% as well, especially for high-demand staples like grains, meat and canned fruits and vegetables. Certain foods, like peanut butter, are hard to find altogether, he said.

    In some instances, we place an order with a vendor and receive a third of that product, Lupercio said.


    List Of Items Needed For Food Pantry Donations

    Here’s a list of the most needed items for food pantry donations, including both food and non-food items.

    During the holiday season many people begin donating to local food pantries, as well as anytime you decide to organize and declutter your pantry.

    While every donation of unexpired food is appreciated, there are items that these local food pantries and banks need more than others. And the reality is that every year volunteers for these pantries go through tons of donations, and often have lists of much needed items that people just don’t donate.

    When these charities don’t get the needed donations they then have to find alternative funds to provide those items to the people in need in the community.

    So this list is meant to help you provide not only what you have, but to really try to make a difference this year by providing what will help people the most. While I’ve tried to be thorough this list is just a beginning of items you can donate this year to meet the needs in your community, so if you have more suggestions and ideas I would love to hear them in the comments below.

    This list has two parts, including both food items, and also non-food items, since both are so important.

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    Healthy Foods You Should Give To Your Local Food Bank

    Posted published byNature’s Path

    Did you know that you have the power to fight hunger and give those in your community access to healthy, nutritious foods?

    The type of food you choose to donate can have a positive impact in another persons life. When you choose to give food that is nourishing, youre increasing someones energy level and mood so that he or she can have a better quality of life.

    Heres our list of healthy donation ideas for your local food bank. Remember to always look for foods that are high in protein, whole grain, low sodium, and low sugar for the most nutritious impact. Organic food is a bonus, too!

    Brown Rice Or Whole Wheat Pasta

    Here’s what you shouldn’t be donating to your local food bank

    These two are whole grain winners because theyre easy to store, and a little goes a long way for individuals and families. Just a half-cup serving can keep the tummy satisfied. Compared with white rice, brown rice is definitely better nutritionally, Umbriac says. Health benefit: Research shows whole grains may help keep body weight down prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, says Washington dietitian Katherine Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple.

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    What Food Banks Need

    Its best to check your local food bank to get area-specific recommendations , but heres a general list of items that most food banks need:

    • Healthy cereals and oatmeal
    • Bags of potatoes or apples
    • Kids snack items
    • Jars and pouches of baby food
    • Personal hygiene products, like sanitary pads
    • Toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, lip balm
    • Canned fish and meat
    • Canned vegetables and fruit

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