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How To Donate Food To Food Banks

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How To Donate Food

Healthiest foods to donate to food banks

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Hunger is a global issue that is widespread in both the wealthiest and most impoverished nations. Every little bit helps, but there is a constant need for support. Thankfully there are many organizations that make it easier than ever to get food to those in need both locally and internationally. With so many options available, it might be confusing, but really its easier than ever to start donating.

Oklahoma: Regional Food Bank Of Oklahoma

This Oklahoma City-based food bank offers free monthly Food for Thought tours. These tours give visitors a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility where it’s not uncommon to see more than 100 volunteers a day sorting and packing food for distribution. During November, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is teaming up with 30 local Whataburger restaurant locations and the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team to offer promotions including free burger coupons in exchange for donations and even the opportunity to win an autographed NBA basketball.

Florida: Second Harvest Food Bank Of Central Florida

Central Florida residents who don’t want to cook Thanksgiving dinner can order their family’s feast from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s “Catering for Good.” All of the proceeds from the catered meals are invested into the food bank’s Culinary Training Program which serves at-risk individuals in the community. This year, for the first time, the food bank will also be offering a holiday dinner deal during Christmas. For $135, you can feed up to 10 people and support others at the same time.

Read Also: Atlanta Community Food Bank Atlanta Ga

How You Can Donate Fresh Food To Food Banks

Food banks are a critical resource for many people in the United States who struggle to put food on the table. One way to support food banks is by donating food. However, you may be wondering if you can donate fresh food to food banks. The answer is yes! Fresh food is always welcome at food banks. In fact, fresh food is often in high demand because it is perishable and difficult for food banks to obtain. There are a few things to keep in mind when donating fresh food to food banks. First, make sure the food is properly packaged. Second, donate food that is in season and will not spoil quickly. Third, consider donating fresh food that is grown locally. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your fresh food donation will be used to help those in need.

Homemade items, for example, are not typically accepted as donations by food banks. Consider the products and supplies youd find at your local grocery store, such as feminine hygiene products and cleaning supplies. Food Rescue US, Feed the Children, and Meals on Wheels are all excellent places to turn for assistance. If youre throwing out leftover food, instead of throwing it away, consider donating it to Food Rescue US for conversion into delicious meals. There are ways to help No Kid Hungry in addition to raising money and organizing donation drives at work.

Washington: Clark County Food Bank

Healthy Food Bank Donations: What To Give

There are more than 40 agencies and programs depending on this Vancouver, Washington, food bank. In all, Clark County Food Bank provides about 5.5 million meals a year to 65,000 residents. Much of this food comes from its growing “Farming and Gleaning Program.” It also plants produce on 12 acres of donated farmland and is able to cultivate more than 100,000 pounds of vegetables a year. If you don’t want to give money or food donations, considering volunteering in the garden.

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Tax Benefits For Donating Food

Individuals / Organizations: We cannot help you to calculate the value of any donations made for tax purposes. We can, and will happily issue you a receipt for the total pounds of donations made that you can take to your tax preparer who can advise you on how you may be able to value and deduct your donation on your taxes.

Delaware: Food Bank Of Delaware

To better serve the entire state, the Food Bank of Delaware has two locations: one in Milford and one in Newark. What sets it apart from other food banks in the country is its pilot program “Produce Prescription.” Local doctors and hospitals refer at-risk patients to the food bank by providing them with a prescription. This prescription is good for 25 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each month. That said, Food Bank of Delaware can always use donations, in food or cash, as it distributes thousands of pounds of food on a monthly basis.

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Is Food 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 food banks 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.

Some could be forced into the unthinkable position of not even being able to offer reduced parcels to people unable to afford the bare essentials, she added.

This is never going to be resolved by food, Goodwin said.

Food banks are also receiving fewer donations from the public compared to recent months, Goodwin added, and are operating with fewer and fewer volunteers. Those remaining are exhausted.

People are going back to work. That moment of Blitz spirit has passed, she said. Some food banks might be alright now but the system is so fragile, when the expected surge in demand comes they wont be prepared.

This impossible scenario cannot be imposed on charitable food aid providers when the solution is so clear, she added

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Vermont: Vermont Food Bank

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

The Vermont Foodbank, located in Barre, estimates that 25 percent of the states population battles hunger. It works with 215 network partners to provide them with food, including surplus produce from Vermont farms and gardens. Currently, it’s asking the community to consider contributing money to its Thanksgiving For All fund which will provide families in need with turkeys for Thanksgiving. So far, the food bank has raised about $22,000 of its $35,000 goal.

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Illinois: Midwest Food Bank

Although their reach extends across six states , Illinois is the state where the Midwest Food Bank has the largest impact. Recently, Midwest Food Bank’s Arizona branch partnered with The Salvation Army in California to distribute relief items to the victims of the devastating Camp Fire. With a very lean staff, a large volunteer base and efficient national operations, Midwest Food Bank is able to apply over 99 cents of every dollar donated to directly help those in need.

How You Can Find And Donate To A Food Bank Near You

Times are tough right now amid the cost of living crisis. If youre thinking about giving a little support to those less fortunate, heres what you need to know.

Some of the food people donate to a food bank. Image credit: petelovespurple/Flickr

The cost of living crisis means food banks are in demand like never before.

According to new figures from The Trussell Trust, the number of children receiving food bank parcels hit 830,000 in the last 12 months, a 15 per cent rise on the previous year.

Additionally, new research from The Food Foundation shows more and more families are struggling to pay for food.

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Safe Food Handling Practices


Although training is not a requirement for preparing food donations, food safety classes explain the food safety precautions required with feeding large groups. Many local health agencies, WSU Cooperative Extension offices, and food industry associations give short classes on food safety.


A knowledgeable group leader with food safety training and a Washington State Food Worker Card, if possible, should be selected to organize the food preparation efforts. Children under 10 years old should only handle wrapped foods, raw produce, and raw dry food staples to limit the potential for food safety errors. Food workers who are ill should not handle or prepare food.


Proper handwashing facilities and supplies must be convenient for all food handlers.

All food handlers should wash their hands before beginning work, and after:

  • Going to the restroom.
  • Coughing or sneezing into their hands.
  • Handling raw meat.
  • Hands become dirty.
Preventing Bare Hand Contact

To prevent the spread of germs, it is important to keep bare hands from touching foods that will not be cooked or washed before being eaten. Utensils or gloves can be used to prevent bare hand contact. Utensils need to be cleaned and sanitized between uses.

Food Storage
Food Transportation
Potentially Hazardous Foods

Certain foods, called potentially hazardous foods, let bacteria grow quickly. It is important to keep these foods at safe temperatures to prevent bacteria from growing.

Cooking Temperatures

Alabama: Food Bank Of East Alabama

What to Donate to a Food Pantry

The Food Bank of East Alabama’s popular Plant-A-Row for the Hungry campaign was launched in 1995. It encourages local farmers and gardeners to plant an extra row of crops and to donate the surplus harvest from that row to the food bank. Another creative way to give to this Auburn-based organization is by donating stocks, bonds and mutual funds. By donating your securities, you’re reducing your capital gains tax and receiving a tax credit.

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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.

Where Is My Local Food Bank

There are 2,000 food banks across the UK, with the majority of them run by The Trussell Trust and the others run by the Independent Food Aid Network.

The easiest way to find the food bank nearest you is through the Trussell Trust website, where you can search for the food banks in your area. You’ll also be able to find out when they’re open and the best way to contact them there. It’s best to call before turning up with a donation as the information online about opening hours might not be up-to-date.

Recommended Reading: Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank

Where Can I Donate Food Locally

There are many places to donate food locally. Some places include food banks, soup kitchens, and pantries. You can also contact your local government or community organizations to see where they recommend donating food.

If youre moving, youll need to find a safe place to donate food. Feeding America is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the United States. There are Second Harvest Food Banks all over the country. The Central Texas Food Bank provides food to over 16,000 people in 21 counties each month, distributing over 3.1 million pounds of food. Through its government advocacy program, the Central Texas Food Bank encourages members of Congress to take action to end hunger. The North Country Food Bank has a significant impact on Minnesota and North Dakota. The Northeast Iowa Food Bank serves 16 counties in the region, with an estimated population of 47,000 people who are poor and unable to afford adequate food.

Wisconsin: Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin

$10 Million Donation To The North Texas Food Bank

Every year, nearly half a million Wisconsin residents benefit from Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. The food bank, which has a location in Milwaukee as well as Appleton, is encouraging those who want to donate this holiday season to contribute $15 which will be used to purchase one turkey for a deserving family in the community. The food bank estimates that one in seven individuals in Eastern Wisconsin are unable to afford to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving. Whats more, the donations will be matched by the supermarket chain Sendik’s.

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Annual Food And Funds Drives:

Fill the Foodbank! NovemberThis drive-through event supports the Foodbank in our mission to provide nutritious food to thousands of hungry children, seniors, and families during the Holiday season.

Turkey Drive NovemberDonate a bird and help the Foodbank ensure that every family has a nourishing holiday meal.

Stamp Out Hunger May, NovemberSponsored by the United States Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers. Leave a bag of non-perishable food next to your mailbox and your letter carrier will deliver your donation to the Foodbank. *Cancelled this year due to COVID*

The End Hunger Games: A Corporate Challenge NovemberThe Corporate Challenge is a friendly competition among local companies to give dollars, food, and time to the Foodbank and join the fight against hunger. For more information on how to participate contact Senior Development Manager Nathalie Keller,

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.


Also Check: Food Banks Open On Saturday

The Benefits Of Donating Food

Giving food not only helps the environment, but it also contributes to it. Approximately one-third of the food purchased in the United States goes to waste, with food waste accounting for approximately 20% of municipal solid waste. donating food is helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which is then converted into methane gas, which contributes to climate change. The simplest and most effective way to assist those in need and reduce food waste is to donate food. Furthermore, it is critical to remember that food donations assist those who are impoverished by providing food for people in need, which benefits both the recipient and the environment.

Places To Donate Food

Emergency Food Pantry Donations for August â Atonement Lutheran Church ...

There are food recipient organizations across the country. The following sites offer tools to help donors find nearby food banks, pantries, soup kitchens and shelters that may accept wholesome, excess food.

  • Feeding America is a national network of food banks, individuals, national offices, and corporate and government partners working to combat hunger in the U.S. Use the Find Your Local Food Bank tool to locate food programs by state or zip code.
  • Ample Harvest is a nationwide effort to educate, enable, and encourage gardeners to donate extra produce to local food pantries. Use their Find a Pantry tool to donate food you grow or buy.
  • The Homeless Shelter Directory is a crowdsourced listing for people who want to find and donate food and/or supplies to their local shelter.

Contact Us:

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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?

Alaska: Fairbanks Community Food Bank

Every year, the Fairbanks Community Food Bank relies on 18,000 volunteer hours to provide over 2 million pounds of food to the community. It estimates that one in eight residents, or about 12,000 people, are at the risk of going hungry. In addition to offering traditional food box services, the Community Food Bank has a unique Move For Hunger program. If residents move, and book moving services through a participating program, the movers will collect any food that would normally be tossed. They’ll then drop it off at the food bank where it gets distributed to families in need.

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