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.
How You Can Help
Head to Walmart and Buy Food.
Walmart has partnered with some of your favorite food brands to help feed America. Between April 6th and May 3rd you can go to Walmart and buy specific foods, and for each participating item purchased money will be donated to help secure 1 meal* on behalf of local Feeding America Food Banks.
Find the list of participating products here. There are tons of options from Goldfish crackers to Ro*tel.
- Round up your 6 friends, family or co-workers and share your smiles with Walmart.
- Upload your photo to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
- Use the hashtag #WeSparkChange
- Walmart will donate to Feeding America for every post shared.
Donate at the Register.
From April 6 to May 3, you can give monetary donations of $1, $2, or $5 to your local Feeding America Food Bank at the register of any participating Walmart.
Head over to Walmart.com/FightHunger to watch the real time giving tracker!
To make it even easier for you to help fight hunger I thought I would share a recipe you can make for your family that includes several of the participating products from the supplier partners: Unilever, General Mills, ConAgra, Campbells, Kelloggs, and Kraft. It has Crescent Roll dough, Ro*Tel and Kraft Cheese.
This Cheesy Mexican Breakfast Casserole will not only help feed your family, but someone elses! That is something I can feel good about!
Hunters And Meat Processing
HUSH, or Help Us Stop Hunger, reduces Iowas deer population and provides high-quality ground venison to Iowans facing hunger through food banks. Hunters can donate legally harvested deer through participating USDA meat lockers. If you have any questions, please email or call 515-725-8265.
Processing your own pork, beef or other meat? We welcome donations processed in a USDA-inspected locker. Your locker will be able to tell you whether they meet these requirements.
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What Items Do Food Banks Need Most
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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Or That Requires Minimal Cooking
Tinned potatoes are versatile and can be microwaved, and tinned meals such as curries or stews are popular. Neilly isnt a fan of canned pies mainly because they take half an hour in the oven. But other food banks might welcome them: A couple of them for a family, with some veg, is great, says Coleman.
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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.
What Is A Food Bank
Food banks are community organisations that can help people who struggle to afford to buy enough food to eat. The products available in food banks consist of basic items that people need to live, most of which are given to the charities by members of the public or purchased by the organisations with money raised through fundraising activities, donated by business and the public or gained through funding initiatives such as the National Lottery Good Causes .
Resources and finances are always limited, and many food banks are unable to support people long-term often these food banks provide a limited number of emergency food parcels to people experiencing a short-term food crisis.
It is not just food that is available though, other essential items are also available, for example:
A few food banks offer frozen foods and even pet food, as well as seasonal items like Easter eggs and Christmas puddings, depending on the donations they receive. Some food banks offer hot meals and advice drop-in sessions.
Many food banks offer additional support to help people resolve the crises they are facing this could include things like debt advice, mental health support, or benefits guidance. People using food banks usually need to get a referral before they can use them. It is important to note that the services provided by food banks may vary from one area to another. Food banks react to the needs of the community to best offer help and support to local people who are in crisis.
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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.
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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.
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.
You might be wondering what items to skip when donating. Taste of Home recommends what to not donate to a food bank, and that would be, junk food, items with glass or cellophane packaging, which can be broken in transit, things that need can openers or special equipment . Feeding America also mentions things not to donate to a food bank: items needing refrigeration, expired food, leftovers, food with packaging concerns, and baked goods.
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After 2007 Financial Crisis
Following the financial crisis of 200708, and the lasting inflation in the price of food that began in late 2006, there has been a further increase in the number of individuals requesting help from American and Canadian food banks. By 2012, according to Food Banks Canada, over 850,000 Canadians needed help from a food bank each month. For the United States, Gleaners Indiana Food bank reported in 2012 that there were then 50 million Americans struggling with food insecurity , with the number of individuals seeking help from food banks having increased by 46% since 2005. According to a 2012 UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study, there has been a 40% increase in demand for Californian food banks since 2008, with married couples who both work sometimes requiring the aid of food banks. Dave Krepcho, director of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, has said that college-educated professional couples have begun to turn to food pantries.
What To Donate To A Food Bank And What To Avoid
So, youre ready to donate food to your local food bank. Thats great! Whether youre starting a food drive or just planning to grab a few extra items for donation while out grocery shopping, there are a couple of things you should know about what you can donate and what food banks wont accept.
What food you CAN donate to your local food bank:
This part is pretty easy. Food banks accept dry and canned food donations. What does that mean? Basically, any food that is shelf-stable or nonperishable you can keep it in your pantry and it wont go bad. And remember, only donate food that hasnt reached its sell-by date yet. Specifically, food banks often need items like:
Thats definitely not an exhaustive list but it covers a lot of what food banks regularly need. Additionally, some food banks accept personal care and household items, since many families struggle to afford these items and they arent covered by other food assistance programs like SNAP.
If youre still stumped about what to donate, just look in your own pantry. Families struggling with hunger often cant afford the staples that we normally have stocked at home. So, check your pantry out and go from there. Even specialty foods like olive oil, dressings, or marinades can be helpful if they dont need to be refrigerated.
What not to donate to a food bank
Where can I donate food near me?
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Can Expired Foods Be Donated
Expired foods can be donated.We had to say it because not everyone knows it. Food items that are past their best before dates are accepted and appreciated at food donation stations and food banks across the country. Please help spread the word.
Estimates vary, but each and every year a large percentage of food produced for people to eat in the U.S. goes to waste. When we began in 2011 the estimates of food waste were around 40%, wed like to think that people are putting a dent in that number so want to believe some of the more current estimates that have come in as low as 25-30%. Even if they are now lower, its still too high.
You may be thinking: Is it OK to donate expired food?Do food banks accept expired foods? The answer to both questions is an overwhelming YES!!. That answer is even backed by the USDA.
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Can I Donate Toiletries To Food Bank
You can donate toiletries to most food banks but it’s worth checking on the local food bank website beforehand. The Trussell Trust recommends the following:
You can also donate household items, feminine hygiene products, and baby supplies too:
- Household items laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid
- Feminine products sanitary towels and tampons
- Baby supplies nappies, baby wipes, and baby food
- Face masks and hand sanitiser
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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.
What Can I Do With Unopened Formula
USDAs Food and Nutrition Service recommends WIC clinics dispose of unused, returned WIC infant formula in accordance with state and local health and safety laws. FNS does not recommend donating unused, returned WIC infant formula to entities such as food banks or food pantries. This approach ensures safety.
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Consider More Expensive Items
Corned beef wasnt that expensive and lots of people donated it, but weve seen that drop off massively because of the price, says Jen Coleman, CEO of Black Country food bank. Billy McGranaghan, founder and chief executive of Dads House, a support organisation and food bank in London, says it buys tins of tuna and sardines every week to keep stocks up.
Get To Know What Your Local Food Bank Needs
Alexandra McMillan, founder of Legendary Community Club, a food justice group in south London, says people have asked for food for their pets, particularly cat and dog food. For Colchesters Beckett, donations of plastic bags clean and sturdy are welcome, and his warehouse manager loves it when people either drop donations off there, or get an online order delivered to our warehouse. Follow your local food bank on social media to get information about fundraising anything from larger events to donating raffle prizes.
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Can You Put Alcohol In A Food Bank
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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Top 7 Healthy Food Items To Donate
As we come to a close on a challenging year, I am humbled by all of our generous donors who have continued to support the North Texas Food Bank in our mission to close the ever-growing hunger gap in North Texas.
We have seen benevolent individuals donate money, time and food to help support our efforts. When you donate money, the Food Bank can stretch every dollar given to feed even more people. Donating your time helps us to distribute food, pack nutritious food boxes, and sort donations. Without our volunteers, we would simply not be able to serve our community!
Another way to help support the food bank is through nutritious food donations. Our North Texas neighbors need nutrient-dense food that will sustain them and their families both mentally and physically. People that do not have adequate access to nutrient-dense foods are at a higher risk for nutrient deficiencies and chronic diseases. Children can be impaired developmentally or can exhibit a lack of concentration and focus in school. Therefore, it is important to donate healthy food items to food banks.
The Nutrition Services Team at NTFB teaches nutrition and cooking classes throughout our 13-county service area. One major education piece we teach is how to read the nutrition facts label and knowing what is in our food. Reading food labels can also be important when deciding what foods to donate to the food bank.
Top 7 healthy food items to donate:
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Best Foods For Food Donation
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.
And Dont Forget About Beauty Banks
Beauty Banks is a non-profit organisation that collects and distributes personal care and beauty items to people who need them. Set up by beauty writer Sali Hughes and beauty PR Jo Jones, Beauty Banks works with charity partners who are registered foodbanks and shelters to distribute these essential personal items to those who will benefit most.
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