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Most Needed Items For Food Banks

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The Best Things To Donate To A Food Pantry Are

Most Commonly Needed Items at Food Banks | Food Banks Canada

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.

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.

Brown Rice Or Whole Wheat Pasta

These two are whole grain winners because theyre easy to store, and a little goes a long way for individuals and families. Just a half-cup serving can keep the tummy satisfied. Compared with white rice, brown rice is definitely better nutritionally, Umbriac says. Health benefit: Research shows whole grains may help keep body weight down prevent diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, says Washington dietitian Katherine Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple.

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Also Check: Where To Donate Food In San Diego

Directly To Your Local Food Bank

Find your nearest food bank by .

Once youve been shown your local food bank, you can click on the local website for that food bank, showing you the times when theyre open for donations.

Most importantly, each food bank keeps their site updated regarding which items they have enough of, and which items they are in urgent need of. If youre planning on donating and havent gone out to buy the items yet check your local food banks website first to find out what these urgently needed items are.

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Dried Herbs And Spices

Most Needed Items

Spices like black pepper, basil and cinnamon can be little luxuries to the less fortunate, and they come with added health benefits. This is a healthy way to add flavor to salads or meat without additional salt to the diet, Chou says. Turmeric, cumin, parsley and rosemary are other healthful options to donate. Health benefit: Theyre high in polyphenols and antioxidants, which delay cell damage.

Also Check: Food Bank Of Northern Nevada

Food We Cannot Accept

We want to ensure all your donations make it to the tables of those in need, so to prevent waste please avoid donating the following:

  • Over the counter medications
  • Home baked-goods or food prepared in a home environment
  • Personally wrapped meats
  • Opened food items, or food not in its original container/packaging
  • Candy and snack food items in packaging that can easily be tampered with or contaminated

When donating snacks please keep in mind that a nutritious treat is always preferred.

*The above standards are put in place by Food Banks Canada, and are to be utilized by all food banks and food programs.

Five Other Ideas For Foods That Might Be Overlooked:

  • Whole grains such as farro, spelt, barley and brown or wild rice are high in fibre and contain iron and magnesium. They can be added to soup, chili and salad
  • Baby formula and cereal and pureed fruit and veggies are needed by children for optimal development
  • Inexpensive and versatile lentils are a source of protein and high in fibre. Theyre easy to cook and dont require soaking first
  • Milk, and alternatives like powdered milk or fortified shelf-stable almond, soy and rice milk, are a source of calcium and vitamins D and A
  • Canned fruit packed in water, with no added sugar, is a source of vitamin C
  • When possible choose unbreakable containers glass jars dont always survive transport.

    Also Check: Food Bank Of Western Ma

    Food For Me: Citizen Action For Community Food Recovery

    Originally prepared by C. Joyce Kleffner, Extension educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Revised and updated by Kate Yerxa, Extension educator, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

    For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit Find more of our publications and books at

    Take this chart with you when you go grocery shopping to help you choose healthy foods to donate to the food pantries, or use it to help you organize a community food drive.

    Check with your county University of Maine Cooperative Extension office for a listing of pantries or food assistance programs in your area and accompanying donation information, or visit the County Search for Food Assistance Programs on the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources website.

    If you want to donate fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables or other perishable food items, please call the food pantry first to be sure they can accept them. Keep these items refrigerated or frozen to keep them safe.

    How Do I Donate Food Or Toiletries Wheres My Nearest Food Bank Collection Point

    Food Bank Haul 3/24/22 Many wonderful items….

    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

    Also Check: Capital Area Food Bank Maryland

    What To Avoid Donating

    Shelf-stable, nutrient-dense food is what people who struggle with food insecurity need most. Although you may think a donation of chips, candy, or other treats might help break up the monotony of the typical donations, the food bank representatives I spoke with assured me they receive more than enough junk food, and that high-quality, nutritious foods are what they really need.

    We get a lot of snacks, says Kaupp. Obviously, people need snack foods as a treat too, but youd be surprised at how much we get. Morris echoes the sentiment: Although we love the generosity, we really dont need more candy or soda or anything like that.

    Damaged, Unlabeled, or Home-Canned Food

    For food safety reasons, items like rusty or dented cans, unlabeled packages, or non-commercially packaged food cannot be distributed. The same goes for perishable items, opened containers, and for some food banks food in glass containers. If you are unsure, ask your local food bank for their guidelines before donating.

    November 17, 2015 by Chrissy Carroll

    I am in full-out holiday spirit. I was doing a little browsing at the store the other day and it made me so happy to see all the fun holiday decorations out. I love this time of year and all it stands for giving, compassion, love, joy.

    What Not To Donate To Food Banks And Food Pantries

    While the intention is always appreciated, there are many items that food banks cant accept or cant use. These include:

    • Any expired foods or foods that are close to expiring always check the expiration date first before donating!
    • Any chemicals stronger than normal household cleansers food banks have strict storage rules to prevent food contamination

    Recommended Reading: Greater Chicago Food Depository Donations

    Food Banks: Donating Cash Is The Best Way To Help

    Grocery shoppers nationwide are noticing that some food is costing more this year, due to rising inflation and supply chain problems leading to delivery delays. That same issue is hitting local food banks, who are providing meals to a growing number of families.

    ABC10 is partnering with local food banks to Stand Against Hunger, so ABC10 asked about what challenges theyre facing right now and how people can make the biggest impact.

    RELATED: Join ABC10 and Wells Fargo in the Stand Against Hunger

    It is a very real issue, especially here with the rising cost of food and rent and gas, said Jessica Vaughan, development director for Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, which like so many people across the U.S. is seeing changes in the cost and availability of food.

    When we are purchasing a pallet of food, itâs going to go ahead and cost us about 15% to 20% more than it did this time last year or even six months ago, Vaughan said, adding that corporate partners like Raleys, Walmart and Foster Farms have remained consistent and supportive despite the current challenges.

    Jorge Lupercio, director of operations at the Placer Food Bank, said theyre seeing cost increases up to 20% as well, especially for high-demand staples like grains, meat and canned fruits and vegetables. Certain foods, like peanut butter, are hard to find altogether, he said.

    In some instances, we place an order with a vendor and receive a third of that product, Lupercio said.


    How Do You Use A Food Bank

    Off the Shelf: 10 Most

    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.

    Read Also: The Harry Chapin Food Bank

    Food Bank Tax Credit For Farms

    The Food Bank Tax Credit for Farms offers qualified farmers the opportunity to recoup the costs of charitable donations with a non-refundable tax credit valued at 25% of the fair market value of your donated food.

    Well pick up your product that is safe to distribute, , weigh it, and issue a tax receipt. If your donation is a smaller amount, please consider donating directly to a member agency in your area. Use our Where to Donate Food tool to find one close to you.

    Monetary Donations For Food Pantry Items

    You can also donate money so that food banks can operate well. The money you donate is used for various operations such as infrastructure, marketing, staff support, and ongoing supplies.

    Money helps them to cover the cost associated with building the pantry in new locations. They also need to give salaries to people that work in the pantry like the food pantry coordinator and different volunteers. Money is also used for marketing services to get the word out into the community.

    We would advise you to include another essential item- a can opener. The people who depend on food banks for food do not have can openers. It will become difficult for them to open the cans they are given.

    So, the next time you go grocery shopping, consider buying a can opener so that it becomes easier for the receiver of your donation to eat what they are given.

    Cooking essentials like spices, salt, pepper, or garlic powder should also be donated. These help in making a meal taste good. Even if you dont have a baby in your house, you should consider donating things for a baby like diapers, baby food, etc. it will make it easier for families that face economic problems to raise their babies.

    You will also find meals in the box in the market these days. This is an excellent option if you want to donate food pantry items. The food bank would happily accept an entire meal in one package.

    Also Check: Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Pantry

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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.

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    List Of Items Needed For Food Pantry Donations

    Top 12 Pantry Essentials to Stock Up On NOW Before Inflation Hit HARD!

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Good Samaritan Act Food Donation

    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?

    List Of Food Pantry Items For Donations

  • Monetary Donations for Food Pantry Items
  • If you wish to donate food to fight hunger, you should check what local food banks require to not burden food banks with the food items that take up a lot of space or are not required. You will find food pantry items that you should donate to food banks in this article.

    You need to remember that food banks clients may suffer from various health issues like diabetes, so foods with high fiber or low sugar are better than processed foods. You can also start a food drive instead of donating food to a food bank. No matter which source of donation you choose, there are certain things you should keep in mind before donating anything.

    Recommended Reading: Food Bank Long Beach Ca

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    Foods That Food Banks Need The Most

    The Season of Giving is nearly upon us, and while most of us have plans to spend the holidays with friends and loved ones, now is also the time to think of those less fortunate. But if you’re going to donate to food banks, some foods are better than others. Here are 20 foods that food banks really need.

    Healthy Foods You Should Give To Your Local Food Bank

    Woman Volunteer with Food Donation and Clothes. Most Needed Items for ...

    Posted published byNatureâs Path

    Did you know that you have the power to fight hunger and give those in your community access to healthy, nutritious foods?

    The type of food you choose to donate can have a positive impact in another persons life. When you choose to give food that is nourishing, youre increasing someones energy level and mood so that he or she can have a better quality of life.

    Heres our list of healthy donation ideas for your local food bank. Remember to always look for foods that are high in protein, whole grain, low sodium, and low sugar for the most nutritious impact. Organic food is a bonus, too!

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