Soup Kitchens And More Free Meals
Although they’re not quite the same thing as food banks, soup kitchens and other similar initiatives provide free hot meals to the community.
Contrary to what you may think, soup kitchens aren’t just for the unhoused. They’re also open to anyone who is hungry, lonely, vulnerable basically, anyone who needs them. And, like food banks, soup kitchens are welcoming community spaces.
Despite the name, many soup kitchens serve more than just soup. ‘Soup kitchen’ is really just a general term used to describe any charitable organisation providing free hot meals to those in need.
Most soup kitchens are independent, but FoodCycle operates a network across the country and has a map displaying dozens of locations in the UK. Otherwise, your best bet is to Google “soup kitchen near me” or “soup kitchen in ” and see what’s nearby.
Why Food Banks Need Financial Donations Too
The answer is that your food donation is definitely helpful, but you shouldnt forget about giving cash as well . We could not distribute the amount of food that we do to the communities that we do without raising food from community members, says Ryan Noble, executive director of North York Harvest Food Bank in Toronto. Thats because the cost of purchasing the food their users need far exceeds their operating budget from donations.
But canned goods are not enough. Noble says food banks like North York Harvest desperately need financial donations too, for several reasons. The first is to pay staff to run the operation. Theres a whole infrastructure thats required to make sure, beyond just receiving the donation, that food is safely processed and distributed into our community, he says. Money is also a good donation option because the vast amount of food donations arrive between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and having cash on hand helps them buy food during the remaining months, since people are hungry year-round. It also helps them buy supplies to meet specific clients needs, such as culturally appropriate foods. In addition, food banks are able to look for discounts and purchase food at wholesale, which means they are able to get more out of that dollar than a person shopping retail probably could.
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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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.
If You Donate Food Be Selective
When deciding to donate money or food to a food bank, if you still choose to donate food, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Be selective as to what you contribute. Instead of giving an old can of corned beef, buy foods with meals in mind. Fresh ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes would go great with a taco kit. Purchase beans, ground beef, chili sauce, and canned tomatoes for chili.
- Instead of buying flats of the same canned item, check out the food banks website and see what items they urgently need and buy those. Frequently, food banks need specific things and post a list on their website with the information. You can also call the food banks for this information.
- Also, be selective as to when you donate. Many organizations hold food drives during the holiday months, leaving an even more significant need during the spring and summer months. Consider donating food during these slower times to help food banks distribute food consistently year-round for those in need.
Additionally, consider volunteering with us to help lower overhead costs associated with sorting and handling the food donations.
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Food Stamps Study: Snap Benefits Slow Memory Decline In Senior Recipients
The U.S. governments Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed to help low-income Americans pay for food, but it might have an additional benefit: slowing memory decline among seniors.
Thats one of the findings in a new study from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, released last week. Researchers found that older Americans who qualified for and used SNAP benefits had about two fewer years of cognitive aging over a 10-year period compared with those who didnt use SNAP, Science Daily reported.
SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. It is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture but administered at the state level.
The Columbia study was published online in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. It evaluated 3,555 SNAP-eligible individuals. Participants average age was 66, and 559 were SNAP users and 2,996 were eligible but didnt use SNAP.
As Science Daily noted, researchers measured memory function every two years over two decades. Researchers asked participants to complete memory and thinking tests, such as recalling a list of words and answering questions about what they could remember in their daily lives.
The Impact Of Your Donation
Sarah had been borrowing money every month from her sister to purchase food for her family. She said that when people spoke to her about going to the food bank for help, she would tell them that was for poor people and refused to go. After some persuading, Sarah started going to the food bank. Now she doesnt have to borrow money from her sister and the family is rebuilding themselves financially. Nancy has been raising her daughter as a single mom for about 10 years. She has been using the food bank for a quite awhile now. The food bank is helping Nancy get her daughter through college where she is studying to be an engineer. By getting food at the food bank, the pair save money that can go toward paying for college in addition to other essentials.
7:30am – 11:00 am
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Monetary Donations To Concord Food Bank Are Down
CONCORD, Calif. Holidays like Veterans Day highlight the importance of giving back. During this time of year, food banks can certainly use more hands and money. KRON4 visited a warehouse in Concord where monetary donations are down.
Every dollar donated to a food bank can provide at least two meals. The food bank of Contra Costa and Solano can use whatever you can give.
A spokesperson for the food bank, Krystine Dinh tells KRON4, Approximately 70% of our donations are from individuals, so people like you and I giving back to the food bank. That makes a big difference, because we rely on every single person in the community to give back to us.
Unfortunately, from the warehouse in Concord, spokesperson Dinh says monetary donations to the non-profit organization are down 20% this year. Inflation and the rising cost of living are to blame.
Dinh says that could impact the amount of turkey the food bank can distribute for Thanksgiving. She explains, Turkeys this year, they cost us 41% more. And, it is getting increasingly hard to get turkeys because of the bird flu that has been going around, and thats something, I know its something very simple and we just want to be able to provide for our clients and for people who want them, because we know the importance of gathering during the holidays.
Do Food Banks Need Toiletries
When it comes to non-food items you can donate to a food bank, this can include deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes, sanitary towels and tampons.
Many also accept household items such as laundry powder or liquids and washing up liquid, as well as baby supplies like nappies, baby wipes and baby food.
It is worth remembering that luxury items many of us take for granted are out of the question for people struggling to put food on the table. Stick to the lists put together by food banks to ensure you are helping combat hunger, but some services have bonus tables where treats are given out especially in the run-up to Christmas if you decide to donate something special alongside the essentials.
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How To Donate To A Food Bank
If youre looking to make a difference in your local community and donate to a food bank, there are many ways you can do it. On their website, The Trussell Trust says, Were not sure about the impact of the pandemic will be on food stock levels in the coming months, so we really encourage you to support your local food bank if youre able to.
They encourage people to check what items are most needed on that day and donate those if possible.
Currently, you are still able to donate directly to your local food bank using the search feature to find the closest one to you, or through your local supermarket collection points. There should be a basket in your local supermarket where you can donate food to.
If you want to donate money instead, you can do this directly via The Trussell Trust.
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.
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Food Bank Donations In
A number of leading UK supermarkets allow you to donate food in their stores after your weekly shop.
Tesco has food collection points at 450 of their stores.
Morrisons customers can pick up pre-packed bags of groceries Pick Up Packs in branches designed around the needs of local food banks. You pay for it at the till along with the rest of your shopping and its then collected by volunteers working for the food bank.
Waitrose have food bank collection points in all their stores .
Join Our Giving Community
Our clients are at the center of the work we do. As our population grows and ages and the costs of housing, childcare, education, medical and other expenses stretch beyond paychecks, we know our work will continue to be vital in this community. Our dream for the coming years is to provide not just food, but also hope to stabilize the lives of our clients and help them on a path to self-sufficiency which will build a vibrant community for all. If we all commit to Feeding Us Forward as businesses, individuals, non-profit partners and civic leaders we can cultivate and grow a healthy, hunger-free community.
Our Feeding Us Forward Giving Community provides opportunities for every person to make a difference regardless of giving ability. We invite you to join today to help us end hunger and give hope.
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Food Bank Money Donations
Northern Illinois Food Bank is grateful for the generosity of our donors and is committed to being a good steward of your support. Thanks to your food bank money donations, 97 percent of our resources go towards programs to ensure our neighbors have the food they need to thrive. Northern Illinois Food Bank has maintained a strong rating from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities, since 2001. Learn more about how to donate money to the food bank & how you can help here.
What Do Food Banks Need At Christmas
Festive treats are appreciated as food donations at food banks during the Christmas holidays particularly Christmas pudding, as it often comes with a long-life use by date. The Trussell Trust recommends non-alcoholic puddings.
Chocolate coins and Christmas dinner non-perishables such as tinned pies, vegetables, condiments, and gravy are all appreciated this time of year. Festive treats for those who can’t afford them at this time of year are welcome.
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Money Donations Can Help More People
When it comes to donating money or food to food banks, monetary donations can go further. The buyers at food banks can often get food at a wholesale or negotiated price that regular consumers, who buy food at the local grocery store and donate it, cannot. Therefore, a $5 donation can go further when donated directly to the food bank rather than purchasing $5 worth of food.
There are also fewer overhead costs associated with donating money to food banks. Theres no need to sort or store the money like there are food donations, so people in your community benefit more from having a monetary donation. Food banks can also buy excess produce from farmers, thus reducing food waste and providing fresh food and nutrients that are needed to keep your community healthy.
When you choose to donate money to a food bank, you are also helping to supply food needs year-round. Most giving occurs during the end of the year when the holidays are in full swing, and people feel more generous. However, the people who utilize food banks need food every day of the year, not just during the holidays. When you donate money, food banks can purchase food during the months when donations are slower.
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Food Banks How To Find And Use Their Support
Credit: HASPhotos Shutterstock
According to our National Student Money Survey, one in 10 students had to use a food bank in the 2021/22 academic year.
While we’d all rather that food banks didn’t need to exist, it’s important to be aware of the help they can offer and how to access it.
Read on to find out who can use food banks, what you’ll get in a food parcel, and the other services on offer too.
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How Can I Find A Food Bank Near Me
Most communities have a food bank. The Trussell Trust is the UKs biggest network of food banks, with more than 1,300 across the country. It has a map on its website where you can find the one thats nearest to you, making it easy to donate directly by simply delivering the items you want to give.
Meanwhile, there are more than 1,000 independent food banks supporting communities across the UK. You can find many of them using IFANs interactive map. And online tools like Bankuet and Foodbank App can also be used to find your local food bank as well as discovering what resources they most urgently need.
Which Is Better To Donate: Money Or Canned Goods
Donations of canned goods to food banks are rarely turned away. In the end, it contributes to their mission of feeding the less fortunate in the community. It does, however, create additional problems for food banks.
Fees associated with sorting, sifting, and storing the food are incurred. Unfortunately, there arent always enough people willing to pitch in to help sort through it all. As a result of having to store the food donations, there is an additional overhead cost.
Mismatched canned goods are another drawback of food donations. Most of the donated food comes in the form of canned goods high in sodium. Consequently, fresh produce, dairy products, and meats required by food banks clients for a healthy diet are frequently unavailable. For the food recipients, put together healthy, well-balanced meals using a random can of tuna, black beans, and peas.
Concerns about COVID-19 can also arise when it comes to eating. Its not uncommon for food banks to have no idea where the food is coming from or if any residents have had the disease. As a result, food banks should employ fewer people to handle the donations.
Donating money to a food bank alleviates these worries. As a result of the lack of additional costs and the ability to purchase fresh food for their customers, COVID-19 is less likely to spread.
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What Not To Donate To A Food Bank
Although people donate with the best of intentions, there are items that food banks generally do not need and would prefer you didnt donate.
- Refrigerated items are not useful to food banks, as they require more cold space than a food bank might have. This means avoid donating fresh dairy products like eggs, milk and cheese.
- Since food banks are shopped by families, large bulk food packaging is harder for them to carry out. If you have large bulk bags of rice, for example, consider contacting a local shelter that cooks meals for the poor or homeless to see if they can use it.
- Unhealthy beverages such as soda are not useful to a food bank.
- Expired food items cannot not be used by a food bank.
- Personally prepared foods such as home-cooked meals and baked goods cannot be donated to a food bank, as well as items that you canned yourself.
- Foods that require additional utensils to open them, such as can or bottle opener.
- Damaged packages cannot be accepted at a food bank, which would include dented cans, ripped bags or broken boxes.
- Fragile containers are discouraged at food banks since they can break easily. Avoid donating foods in glass bottles or wrapped in cellophane.
- Alcohol will not be accepted at a food bank.
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