What Food Banks Need
Its best to check your local food bank to get area-specific recommendations , but heres a general list of items that most food banks need:
- Healthy cereals and oatmeal
- Bags of potatoes or apples
- Kids snack items
- Jars and pouches of baby food
- Personal hygiene products, like sanitary pads
- Toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, lip balm
- Canned fish and meat
- Canned vegetables and fruit
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?
How Many People Use Food Banks
Between April 2018 and March 2019, 1.6 million 3-day food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust. This is just part of the picture as it doesn’t include the independent food banks represented by IFAN. Covid-19 has caused a huge increase in demand, and the numbers are likely to be at least double by the end of 2020.
According to a report by The Trussell Trust published in November 2019, a survey of over 1000 people using a food bank revealed that:https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/end-year-stats/
- 94% were facing real destitution, unable to buy essentials to stay warm, dry, clean and fed
- More than 75% were in arrears, most commonly rent, and 40% were repaying debts
- 22% were single parents
- Over two-thirds had experienced a problem with the benefits system in the year before they used a food bank – including long waits and benefit award reductions
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Best Foods To Donate To A Food Drive
The holiday season is full of opportunities to give to those who cant afford to put nourishing meals on their familys table.
And we desperately need to take advantage of these opportunities.
Though hunger may sound like a problem of the past since obesity is often the more visible and talked-about issue this is far from the truth. More than 49 million Americans live in food-insecure households, and 16 million of these people are children.
What hungry families need is not the Kraft Mac & Cheese thats been sitting at the back of our pantry for two years, or the ketchup we never got around to using. Rather, they need healthy, high-quality foods that promote good eating habits any improved overall health.
Below are some of the best foods you can donate to a food drive or food bank.
Top 10 Foods to Give to a Food Bank
1. Canned fish and lean meats. Canned salmon, tuna, and chicken are high in protein and provide a great base for healthy meals.
2. Peanut butter / other nut butters. These or packaged nuts are great sources of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fat. Theyre an especially helpful donation because theyre usually too expensive for food banks to purchase in sufficient quantities.
3. Healthy soups and stews. Look for low-sodium, organic, and natural brands of canned soup or stew. These provide needed nutrients and a way for families with limited resources to sit down to a healthy family meal.
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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Give Hope By Giving Food
Donations help us fill our inventory and continue to serve Iowans facing food insecurity. Were incredibly grateful for the continued generosity of people like you. We couldnt do what we do without your help.
Your donation makes a difference for Iowans in need. Every item of food we distribute goes to children, families and seniors in our communities who are struggling with hunger.
There are many ways individuals, families and organizations can make a difference by donating food to the Food Bank of Iowa. Find out how you can help us help those in need.
Three Items Most Requested At Food Banks
For many neighbors, a fresh apple or glass of milk is not always available. One woman served by the Feeding America network even expressed that she hadn’t had meat in more than a year because she couldn’t afford it.
Many people we serve want a well-balanced diet, but the less nutritious items are often cheaper, have a longer shelf life, and can be stretched over multiple meals. However, healthier food also challenges the food banks and pantries accepting, storing, and distributing the items.
You’ll be surprised that the three most requested items are ones you and I likely take advantage of every week.
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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.
The Best Foods For Food Donations
- Rowan University
- Wine School of Philadelphia
There are a lot of food drives during the holidays. What food banks need most is cash, but when the Scouts come knocking at your door collecting food or you’re asked to bring a non-perishable item as entrance to the schools holiday concert, food is in order.
NPR did a piece on the types of pantry staples that can help those who rely on food banks to build healthy meals. Food banks say the focus should be on on whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods to help people create healthy meals. Instead of donating foods that are high in salt, sugar and highly processed grains, bring foods that are high in protein, healthy fats and whole grains instead.
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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.
List Of Items Needed For Food Pantry Donations
Here’s a list of the most needed items for food pantry donations, including both food and non-food items.
During the holiday season many people begin donating to local food pantries, as well as anytime you decide to organize and declutter your pantry.
While every donation of unexpired food is appreciated, there are items that these local food pantries and banks need more than others. And the reality is that every year volunteers for these pantries go through tons of donations, and often have lists of much needed items that people just don’t donate.
When these charities don’t get the needed donations they then have to find alternative funds to provide those items to the people in need in the community.
So this list is meant to help you provide not only what you have, but to really try to make a difference this year by providing what will help people the most. While I’ve tried to be thorough this list is just a beginning of items you can donate this year to meet the needs in your community, so if you have more suggestions and ideas I would love to hear them in the comments below.
This list has two parts, including both food items, and also non-food items, since both are so important.
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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.
How To Help: Food Donations
Urgently needed food: Boxed cereal, canned fruit, canned tomatoes, canned beans, dried beans in a bag, tinned stew, canned meat and fish, canned vegetables, peanut butter, jam, instant coffee, tea, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, toilet paper.
When making a donation to the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank, please ensure items are within the best before period, have not expired and have not been opened.
Drop off at our locationduring regular business hours.
Drop off all year at:
- Freshco 1430 Major Mackenize Drive East
- Jim’s No Frills at Bernard, 10909 Yonge Street
- Loblaws 301 High Tech Road
- Food Basics 1070-B Major Mackenize Drive East
- FreshCo, 9200 Bathurst Street
- Sobeys 11700 Yonge Street
- Enzo’s No Frills 9325 Yonge Street
- Longo’s 10860 Yonge Street
- All Firehalls in Richmond Hill
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How Do I Donate Food Or Toiletries Wheres My Nearest Food Bank Collection Point
You can take in-date food and non-food items to a local food bank, plus there are collection points at supermarkets, churches and some businesses offer collections too.
To find your local food bank, both the Trussell Trust and IFAN have maps to help you locate which ones are near you
Where to find 850+ food banks represented by IFAN
How Do You Use A Food Bank
To receive a 3-day parcel from a Trussell Trust food bank and most independent food banks, you’ll need a food voucher, for which you’ll need a referral.
You may be able to get a referral and voucher from a number of different agencies and organisations, including housing associations, your GP or mental health teams, advice charities including Citizen’s Advice and children’s centres, who will assess your need. The Trussell Trust also advise that you can call or email your local Trussell Trust food bank, who will let you know which referral agencies they work with in your area.
Once you have your voucher, you can go to your local food bank, where you will be welcomed by trained volunteers. They’ll sit down with you and discuss your needs, provide a food parcel and also potentially help you find support.
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Dairy Products Such As Milk Cheese Or Yogurt
Not only do dairy products expire quickly, but they also must be refrigerated, making them difficult items to donate, stock, and distribute. Milk is one of the most requested items at food banks however, many food banks cannot always meet the demand especially during the summer when they are even busier. Milk is the top food source for calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, but for many kids and families in need, even basic staples like milk and the critical nutrients it provides are missing. On average, people served by food banks receive the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year.
To help fill this need, The Great American Milk Drive and Feeding America alongside America’s dairy farmers and milk companies make it easy for people to donate milk directly to their communities. The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons of milk more than 28 million servings to food banks across the country since 2014.
Food Insecurity During The Holidays And How You Can Help
Food Insecurity is a continuing problem in our area, but its especially at the forefront during the holidays. Fred Wasiak, President and CEO of the foodbank of South Jersey joined us on the show to talk about what food banks need during this time of year and how we can help.
Most needed items:
Fruits & Vegetables )
- Canned pie fillings
You can find out more information or make a donation on the South Jersey Food Bank website.
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Your Food Donation Provides Nourishment And Hope To Our Hungry Neighbors
- Peanut Butter, 16 oz not mixed with other items like jelly, honey, chocolate
- Canned Fruit, 14-16 oz
- Shelf-stable Milk, 8 oz not flavored with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry
- Canned Tuna, 5 oz
- Low-sodium Canned Vegetables, 15-16 oz
- Trail Mix, 1-2 oz bags
Please do not donate any items in glass containers
Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
When food banks and pantries receive produce, they have to quickly get it into the hands of people in need. We all know how fast strawberries or a bag of spinach go bad in our refrigerators now imagine that times 1,000!
Many vegetables are easily recognizable, but others, like chard or butternut squash, are less familiar, and most don’t know how to cook these vegetables for their families. To overcome this challenge and reduce waste, many food banks have created programs where chefs make recipes with unfamiliar produce. Not only do they offer the recipe and education on how to cook the items, but they often also offer samples to give people a chance to taste them.
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Most Needed Food Bank Donations
Most food pantries have an overabundance of things like corn or beans. This year donate things like peanut butter or canned tuna or chicken.
While food banks are in major need of donations, especially around the holidays, there are some foods that are more helpful than others. Clearing out your pantry of unwanted items might help you reduce clutter and allow you to make a donation, but if you dont want some strange can of food chances are a food pantry wont benefit from it either. Some of the most needed food bank donations are often the most forgotten. Make your donation a little more beneficial this year with items like:
Consider donating items that are appropriate for several age groups like instant oatmeal or various canned fruits and vegetables.
Peanut butter & jelly Full meals in a can/box Instant breakfasts Instant mashed potatoes
Food pantries are in dire need of foods for varied diets. High-protein items that can be created into balanced meals for people of all ages are in demand. While any donation is appreciated, food pantries want to be able to provide a good source of nutrients for individuals and families.
Add value to your donation this holiday season. Dont donate anything you wouldnt be happy to feed your family.
But Its Not Just Food Food Banks Need Non
Baby items, toiletries and personal hygiene products are also much needed.
Non-food items needed by food banks include:
- Baby care – Nappies, baby wipes and baby food
- Toiletries deodorant, razors, loo roll, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gel, shaving gel, hand wipes
- Period products sanitary pads and tampons
- Household items washing-up liquid, laundry detergent/powder, fabric softener
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