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How To Donate To The Food Bank

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What Not To Donate To A Food Bank

Creative ways to donate to the Maryland Food Bank

Although people donate with the best of intentions, there are items that food banks generally do not need and would prefer you didn’t 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.

Places To Donate Food

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.

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What To Donate To A Food Bank

While food banks always provide a minimum of three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods, what you should donate to a food bank differs depending on where you are – and what food bank you’re donating to.

Typically food banks are looking for donations of food products from supermarkets, such as:

Lots of food banks will also offer essential non-food items , such as toiletries and hygiene products.

However, because the supplies to food banks differ between areas, its important to check with your local food bank what kind of supplies theyre most in need of at the moment. An easy way to do this is to use the search box at the bottom of this page , underneath Items to donate. It will tell you the products and food items that your local food bank is in need of at the moment.

If you are in the position to donate to a local food bank, now is the time to do so, with more people needing their services every day.

Read Also: Places That Will Donate Food To Events

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.

Which Foods Can Be Donated

Food Bank Donations
  • Pre-packaged foods that are non-perishable and fresh, whole fruits and vegetables that have not been cut may be collected for donation and distribution without a permit.
  • Certain foods that require time/temperature control for safety may be donated if both the donor and recipient are food permitted facilities and the food has been properly handled at an appropriate temperature. See Food Donation Guidelines for more details and information on which foods are not suitable for donation.

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Christmas : How To Donate To Food Banks This Season

Food banks are one of the most popular ways to donate food to people in need and one of the most relied-upon charity services.

With the number of food banks skyrocketing in the last decade, the Trussell Trust reported that the reliance on these has increased by 81% in the last five years.

With Christmas fast approaching and the demand for donations as high as ever, here is how you can help out those in need by donating food to charities across the UK.

How To Get Food From A Food Bank

Typically, a food parcel is picked up by the person that needs it. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, some food banks are delivering parcels or allowing them to be picked up on behalf of someone else.

A volunteer will normally discuss any dietary requirements including allergies that you might have while running through what is in the food parcel.

Some food banks will provide shopping bags, but it is recommended to bring a shopping bag or backpack with you if possible, to help you carry your food parcel home.

Recommended Reading: Food Bank Distribution Schedule 2022

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.

How Do Food Banks Work

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

Food bank users dont always need to make an appointment, but many food banks do require a referral from, for example, a:

  • Local housing association.
  • Drug and alcohol support agency.

You will get asked some questions about your income and your needs. They may be able to help you check what benefits you should be getting if you are not currently claiming them. They will ask whether you need the food for yourself or for all of your family.

When an organisation refers you to a food bank, they will give you a voucher and tell you where the local food bank is. If the food bank is run by a church or other religious group, they will still help you even if you are not religious or are from a different religion.

When you obtain a referral this usually means that you can receive a food bank parcel of three days nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food from your local food bank. If you did need a referral to use the food bank, you will need to get another one before you can go back. If you have been told your food bank has a limit on the number of times you can visit, it is still worth asking if you really need the food or go back to the organisation that referred you.

At some food banks there are no pre-packaged parcels, and no need to rely on a referral. You can simply choose the food or goods that you feel you most need.

Also Check: How To Get Food Donations From Grocery Stores

How To Donate To A Food Bank

With the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, food banks are being relied upon more than ever before. If you’re wondering how to help, here’s everything you need to know about food bank donations.

Food banks work with support from the public, who donate non-perishable food at a range of places such as schools, churches, and local businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. Then volunteers sort the produce into emergency food parcels to give to people in need. A large majority of food banks also provide extra services alongside the emergency food parcels, such as toiletries, sanitary products, and baby basics.

According to recent stats published by The Trussel Trust , 95% of people referred to food banks in early 2020 were unable to afford to eat or stay warm and dry. As well as 18% of households referred to food banks were single parents – more than twice the rate in the general population. Trussel Trust added “We know that extremely low income is a key factor driving people to food banks.” Therefore donating to a food bank is needed now more than ever.

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 it’s then collected by volunteers working for the food bank.

Waitrose have food bank collection points in all their stores .

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How You Can Give

Consider a fund drive instead of a food drive!

Support our cause by starting a fundraising campaign on Giving.Sg with The Food Bank Singapore as your charity of choice!


Key in our UEN number 201200654E via your online banking app.Participating banks include Citibank, DBS/POSB, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered and UOB.

Under the Reference Number field, please include your NRIC/FIN and contact number

Internet Banking

Account Name: The Food Bank Singapore LtdAccount Number: DBS 288-9026231

Under the Reference Number field, please include your NRIC/FIN and contact number


FBSG welcomes donations in multiple forms of cryptocurrency coins. Make a donation using your Metamask wallet by either scanning the QR code below or entering the wallet address directly.

Wallet Address: 0x81b5a1Fa4f1Bf86a42a3654405C2C9d72607CCE

Where Can I Donate Food Locally

Donate to the Foodbank #EveryCanHelps

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.

Also Check: Food Banks In Elizabeth Nj

What Can You Donate To A Food Bank

The main thing to bear in mind is that whatever you give may be stored for some time before it goes to those who need it. Avoid things like fresh fruit and veg, fish, meat and dairy products as it might go bad and the food bank is unlikely to accept it.

The full list from The Trussell Trust of food you can donate to a food bank includes: cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, beans and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea or coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk, and fruit juice. Most food banks have clear guidance on what they put in a parcel, meaning deciding what to donate is simple.

Read Also: Atlanta Community Food Bank Donations

Your Donations Make A Difference

You may not see the direct effects, but your donations make a huge difference to the many people who use or rely on food banks or soup kitchens.

If you donate at your local supermarket to a Trussell Trust food bank, your donations will form part of a food parcel that provides at-risk families with enough food for at least three days of healthy, balanced meals.

These parcels change peoples lives. Your act of kindness greatly impacts peoples futures. In addition, if you buy products by a brand that supports a social cause such as us at Integritty Foods who promise to give a soup to a person in need for every soup we sell you can have an even greater effect.

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What Donated Items Do Food Banks Need

Before you donate, contact your local food bank or check out their website to see what specific items they need. Although each individual food bank has their own unique needs, most tend to look for the same general types of food donations. Food banks look for foods that are nutritious, high in protein, and shelf stable. Some of the best food to donate to a food bank include:

Food banks often take items that support a household.

  • Diapers are accepted by many food banks.
  • Personal care items are accepted by many food banks such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo and feminine hygiene products.
  • Food banks often can take household care items such as laundry detergent, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, and paper products like toilet paper and paper towels.
  • Pet food is often accepted at food banks as long as it hasnt been opened.
  • Tote bags are accepted by some food banks as it helps the people they serve carry the food out easily.

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Best Food Items To Donate

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The best items to donate are non-perishables that last a long time.

These include:

  • Canned goods: soup, tomatoes, beans, canned fruits and vegetables, chickpeas, etc.
  • Long-lasting drinks: UHT milk, fruit juice, as well as tea bags and coffee.
  • Food cupboard items: pasta, rice, cereals, lentils, beans and pulses.
  • Spices: these are great to donate as they last a very long time and add flavour to any meal.

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Capital City Youth Services

Capital City Youth Services provides guidance, shelter and support to youth and families in the Big Bend area. CCYS uses eTapestry for online donations at If you would like to mail in a donation, make your check payable to CCYS and mail to: 2407 Roberts Ave. Tallahassee, FL 32310. For questions about donations, contact Justin Barfield at or 850-251-0174.

How To Qualify For A Food Bank

Food banks are designed to provide short-term, emergency support with food during a crisis. They aim to relieve that immediate pressure by providing food, but also offer additional support so that people dont need to use the food bank again in the future.

You may get a food bank referral if:

  • You have been made redundant or have reduced working hours.
  • Unexpected bills have left you with no money.
  • A change in your circumstances has affected your entitlement to benefit or has reduced the amount you receive.
  • A payment of benefit has been delayed.

There are a number of food banks who do not need a referral and may not ask about your personal circumstances they rely on trust that you would only use the food bank if you were in need.

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Recommended Reading: Food Bank List Of Items

Support Your Local Food Bank

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.

Is It Better To Give Food Or Money

Food Bank Donation Campaign Template

Donations are a lifeline for us, so absolutely, if you can donate at your local supermarket or to your local food bank, or put in place a doorstep collection point, its always great, says Emma Revie from the Trussell Trust. She added that “tinned meat, fish and vegetables and UHT milk are always gratefully received.

If you want to give food, you can drop it off at your local food bank or at a donation point in supermarkets across the country. The Trussel Trust advises checking with your local food bank before donating to see what supplies they currently need.

Read Also: Donating Food To Food Bank

Last Year We Distributed Over 14 Million Meals Thanks To Food Donations By People Like You

The Foodbank works with dozens of Partner Agencies and programs across the region to provide food to the people in our community who need it most. Food pantries, food drives and fund drives are the first step toward solving hunger. Everyone can help eliminate this epidemicone can at a time!

How to Donate Food:

  • Organize a Food and Fund Drive
  • Donate at one our Drop-Off Sites
  • If you are in the Food Industry, donate surplus food to those in need

Shopping List of Most Needed Items

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