Sunday, October 1, 2023

How To Donate To Food Banks

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Safe Food Handling Practices

Pantry Meal Kits, Recession Proof Meals On A Budget!

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.
  • 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

You Can Find Your Local Food Bank Through Feeding America

Obviously, food banks want you to be able to find them. Most have their own websites, and you can likely find several in your area by just Googling “food bank near me.” You can also use Feeding Americas Find Your Food Bank tool, which maps local food banks and directs you to their website. The tool can also help you locate a local food pantry, if youre looking to volunteer or are in need of food yourself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that different food banks have different needs, and these needs change over time. If your local food bank has a social media account, give them a follow and stay up-to-date on which items they do and dont want at any moment.

Which Items Should You Not Donate To A Food Bank

There are certain items that you shouldnt donate. These include:

  • Delicate items / items with glass packaging: these items can break or spill in transit.
  • Items requiring additional equipment to open: for example cans that can only be opened by a can opener as not everyone has access to this equipment. Donate easy-open cans instead.
  • Alcohol: though you might think youre helping a family unwind on a Friday evening by donating a bottle of wine, most food banks cannot accept alcoholic donations. This includes not just alcoholic drinks, but also any foods or puddings that have alcohol in them, such as Christmas puddings and some mince pies.

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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.

Sobeys Restricts Food Bank Donation Spending To Its Stores Defends Policy

What to Donate to a Food Pantry

Weve all heard that question put to us at the grocery store: Would you like to donate to the food bank today?

But what you might not know is that not all grocery stores pass that money directly on to food banks.

While chains like Save-on-Foods, Walmart and Whole Foods give donated money directly to food banks to use how they best see fit, CityNews has learned Sobeys puts restrictions on the cash its customers donate, requiring food banks to buy through its channels.

Sobeys, which operates Safeway, IGA and Thrifty Foods stores, among other brands, defends the approach, sending this statement to CityNews:

Our larger food bank partners receive the funds raised in our annual campaign in a wholesale account at wholesale prices, which provides them with greater buying power. This also gives the advantage and flexibility to order what they wish, without restriction, including unlimited fresh items.

For urban food bank partners who choose to receive the funds either wholly or in part by gift cards, they can select any of our banners from which to purchase food. Were grateful to our customers for teaming up with us to support healthy communities with contributions at checkout during the holiday season. We have excellent relationships with our food bank partners and are always open to conversation to ensure we can offer them meaningful support.

But we brought this to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank for comment, and it had a different perspective.

Also Check: Where To Donate Non Perishable Food

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.

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If you cannot do heavy lifting or spare any time to volunteer, donating non-perishables is the next best thing. Donor Peggy Haigh told KRON4, I just wanted to do something nice for people and everybodys very nice to me. I was just trying to return the favor.

Two-hundred-seventy-five thousand people in both counties rely on the food bank each month. 25% of them are children.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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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.

What Items Do Food Banks Need Most

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

Canned foods are often the first thing people think to donate. This is because when considering ‘how long does canned food last ?’, the answer is it has a long shelf life and can even be eaten beyond its expiration date if the can isn’t damaged in any way.

However, other store cupboard essentials like stock cubes, condiments and spices, and jarred sauces are also welcome.

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Donating Really Makes A Huge Difference

Donating to food pantries is an important way of providing help and support to individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. By donating food or other items, you can help fill an immediate need for those in need, while also helping to reduce hunger and poverty in your local community.

Donating is a powerful concept that has the power to make a lasting impact in the fight against hunger. Even a small donation of food or money can have an immediate effect on those in need and can help provide them with access to nutritious meals and other essentials that they may not be able to afford. Additionally, donations made to food banks are generally used efficiently and cost-effectively, ensuring that every donation goes as far as possible in helping to meet needs and make a meaningful difference.

Finally, donating to food banks is an important way of making sure that everyone has access to the basic necessities for a healthy life. This includes not only providing meals, but also ensuring access to healthcare, education and job opportunities. By supporting local initiatives and organizations, you can help make sure that no one is left behind and that everyone has the chance to build a better life. In this way, donations to food banks not only help those in need today, but also support the development of long-term solutions to poverty and hunger.

How Food Banks Can Build Smarter Donor Journeys

What happens after a new donor gives to your food bank? Have you really thought about it and studied it?

What is their experience? What kind of thank you do they receive? What kind of communication do they see in the first few weeks after that first gift?

For those unfamiliar, this is typically what we call a donor journey. While many are aware of it, Ive seen too many organizations thinking about donor journeys all wrong.

In this blog post, Ill cover how all of us involved in food bank fundraising need to rethink our donor journeys.

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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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What Are The Best Canned Food Items To Donate And Other Faqs

Donate to the Foodbank #EveryCanHelps

What are the guidelines for canned food donations?

Food drive donations must be:

  • In the original container with the original product label
  • Within the Use by or Best if used by dates
  • Free of damage, stains or moisture
  • Standard retail food products

PLEASE NOTE: Boxes used to collect and store food must NOT have been used previously to store raw meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, produce or chemicals. Please store products in a cool, dry and clean area.

What are the best canned food items to donate?

The items most needed by our network of 700 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters are:

Are there any items you will not accept?

The Food Depository is not able to accept the following types of food donations:

  • Items that have been opened or partially used including cans, bottles and dry goods
  • Products not in their original packaging
  • Products missing ingredient information labels
  • Homemade or home-canned foods
  • Products that have become contaminated
  • Alcoholic beverages or energy drinks of any kind

Additionally, the Food Depository is not able to accept the following types of non-food items, though you may contact your local food pantry to ask if they are currently accepting these items:

How can I promote my food drive?

If you would like to use the Food Depositorys logo on any materials you create, please email . Materials must be reviewed and approved by the Food Depository before being distributed.

Do I have to put my food donations in a certain type of box?

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Go For Food That Can Be Eaten Cold

Most food banks report clients are increasingly asking for food that requires no cooking. For some, its about saving energy, but some dont have access to cooking facilities or even a kettle. Pots of instant noodles or porridge that just need hot water are useful. Rajesh Makwana, director of Sufra, a poverty action group and food bank in north London, says his team give out no-cook parcels. Theyre limited in terms of nutrition, he says. Things like breads and biscuits. No pasta, no rice. Wed give some tuna, so you can just open that, stick it on some bread and eat it. Its really minimal stuff. Neilly keeps a stock of tinned sweetcorn, which can be eaten cold.

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.

Recommended Reading: Greater Chicago Food Depository Donations

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.

Support Your Local Food Bank

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Donating to a food bank is a wonderful way to help your community and provide a safety net for people in need. Always contact your local food bank or visit their website or social media to find out what their current needs are and bring donations that they will make the best use of. Don’t forget to consider giving your time as well and providing monetary donations to further your food bank’s good work.

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Get A Tax Credit For Your Donation

Giving makes good “cents” – and AZ tax credit dollars, too!

We are recognized as a Qualifying Charitable Organization , QCO code 20527, which means that you can receive a tax credit on your Arizona state taxes for your donation, and you dont even have to itemize to receive it! Under Arizona law, you may be able to receive up to $400 or $800 when you make a gift to AzFBN. See for more details, and be sure to consult your tax preparer or financial adviser for information specific to your situation.

Another Option: If you are at least 70 1/2 years young, you may qualify to donate from your IRA without triggering tax consequences when you transfer funds directly. Again, consult your tax preparer or financial advisor for specific advice.

Vermont: Vermont Food Bank

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, its 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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Sequoyah Council Scouts Hold Drive To Stock Local Food Bank Shelves

The Sequoyah Council, Boy Scouts of America is partnering with local food banks and the residents of our region to fight hunger in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia during the annual Scouting for Food initiative.

Scouting for Food will take place Feb. 3-12. Local Scout Units will have donation drop-off locations throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Feeding Southwest Virginia and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee report serving over 149,000 people with food insecurity right here in our region. This means these families were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of all their members. Every community in the country is home to families who face hunger, but rural communities are especially hard hit. Many families facing food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and rely on local food banks and other programs for support.

People in our region depend on drives like this to stock local food shelves and ensure they are always able to provide families with the food they need.

The Scout Oath includes a promise to help other people at all times.

Scouts in the Sequoyah Council live that promise every day, and we are proud to work with our neighbors to reduce hunger in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Please visit the Scouting for Food website at for a list of donation drop-off locations.

Here are some ways to help Scouts fill the shelves of local food banks:

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