Is It Better To Give Food Or Money To Food Banks
The answer is that your food donation is definitely helpful, but you shouldn’t forget about giving cash as well . … In addition, food banks are able to look for discounts and purchase food at wholesale, which means they are able to get more out of that dollar than a person shopping retail probably could.
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.
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
Also Check: Alameda County Food Bank Donations
The Bare Essentials That Food Pantries Need To Feed The Less Fortunate
One of the things that food bank institutions need but dont always ask for is money. Monetary donations are especially important, as they can be used to purchase food and other supplies.
The truth is, food pantries often face a shortage of funds, which can impact their ability to serve the community. Monetary donations allow them to purchase food and other necessary items, such as diapers and baby formula. They can also help food banks pay for transportation costs so that they can get food to those who need it.
In addition, monetary donations help food bank institutions cover the cost of operating expenses. This allows them to focus their resources on getting food to those who need it most. Monetary donations are an important way to support food pantries and the families they serve. It also allows them to pay for the staff who work regularly to keep the food bank running smoothly. Likewise, it also allows them to feed volunteers who devoted their free time to help at the food bank.
Donating money to a food pantry is a great way to help out, and its something that doesnt require you to do much work. You can simply donate money online or by mailing in a check.
And of course, donating food to a food bank is definitely the best way to help out. Food pantries always need donations, and theyre especially in need of healthy foods that are shelf-stable.
Some of the best food to donate to a food bank include:
How To Donate To A Food Bank
If youre looking to make a difference in your local community and donate to a food bank, there are many ways you can do it. On their website, The Trussell Trust says, Were not sure about the impact of the pandemic will be on food stock levels in the coming months, so we really encourage you to support your local food bank if youre able to.
They encourage people to check what items are most needed on that day and donate those if possible.
Currently, you are still able to donate directly to your local food bank using the search feature to find the closest one to you, or through your local supermarket collection points. There should be a basket in your local supermarket where you can donate food to.
If you want to donate money instead, you can do this directly via The Trussell Trust.
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Food Banks Under Pressure From A Tsunami Of Need
Food bank charity The Trussell Trust reports that one in five working people are now turning to food banks, as the cost of living crisis takes its toll
New figures from food bank charity The Trussell Trust show that 1.3million emergency food parcels were given out between April and September this year more than ever before.
Of those parcels, half a million went to children, as the cost of living crisis creates what the trust calls a tsunami of need across a struggling population.
One in five of the trusts food bank users are in work but still cant afford the essentials.
The charity is calling on the prime minister to act decisively in next weeks budget, with a broad package of support, including raising benefits in line with inflation, to stave off what could be a devastating winter.
Responding to the new figures, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: This report reveals the shocking truth about poverty in the UK, and the real extent of in-work poverty. Years of wage depression, economic stagnation and recent spiralling costs are having a devastating impact on families everywhere.
Every day, families are struggling to get by, and the effects of this last for generations.
The Trussell Trust also revealed that:
The trust supports more than 1,300 food bank centres. With need outstripping donations, the charity has been forced to launch an emergency appeal to ensure that food banks can meet the alarming level of need in their communities.
What Not To Donate To A Food Bank
Tatosian that while the food bank is appreciative of all donations, they do try to avoid certain items.
We dont accept anything in glass containers, because it can break and spoil other food, she shared. We really try to avoid, when possible, candy donations, sugar sweetened beverages soda, sweetened teas, sports drinks baked goods such as cookies, cakes, pastries, sweetened muffins.
For both large and small food pantries, donating spoiled or rotten food should always be avoided.
Cars would drive by and drop bags full of groceries that I’d have to mostly throw out open containers, grossly expired food, cookies with some missing from the sleeve, things that were moldy, Foster explained. It was its own full-time job just sorting through it all.
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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.
What Happens At A Food Bank
Were glad you asked. As a food bank, Care and Share works to gather and sort food from multiple sources, distributing to our network of 282 partners in 31 counties across Southern Colorado. We make sure nutritious food gets in the hands of everyone who needs itwherever they are.
We receive donated or low-cost food from suppliers, community partners, and federal programs.
Our dedicated staff and volunteers sort and organize the food we receive.
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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?
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
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Foster told TODAY that in her experience as a smaller pantry, meat and fresh vegetables are highly coveted food items.
A lot of the donation boxes have canned meat and cooked meat, like meatballs and chicken patties, to serve unhoused families, or folks without kitchens, she explained. But fresh meat and vegetables make people with kitchens very happy.
For community grassroots food efforts like hers, Foster advised people to give what no one will get anywhere else.
Pantry items, she said. Salt, sugar, condiments, baking items, spices, herbs, tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, mayo, Sazón, garlic powder, hot sauce. Every couple of months we did giant pantry giveaways where the community gave us cash, and we just bought all kinds of pantry items. People loved it because they are getting boxes with squash and cooked meatballs, but no cooking oil, no salt. How can you make a dinner your kids will eat without salt?
What Is A Food Bank And How Do They Work
People in need may get free, nutritious canned and dry food from food banks. Health and social service providers identify people in need and provide them with a voucher for the food bank in their area. Beneficiaries may get three days worth of non-perishable food with this. As a result of other issues, such as the rise in period poverty, food banks accept and provide contributions for toiletries.
All food banks now depend on donations from both public and private individuals and institutions, collected from locations like supermarkets, schools, and companies.
Also Check: North County Food Bank Volunteer
What Do Food Banks Need At Christmas
Festive treats are appreciated as food donations at food banks during the Christmas holidays particularly Christmas pudding, as it often comes with a long-life use by date. The Trussell Trust recommends non-alcoholic puddings.
Chocolate coins and Christmas dinner non-perishables such as tinned pies, vegetables, condiments, and gravy are all appreciated this time of year. Festive treats for those who can’t afford them at this time of year are welcome.
Pounds Of Food Distributed Weekly In 2019
But some contracting drivers werent used to such tight delivery windows, to working with charities or to making deliveries to sites without loading docks. In Chicago, when contractors couldnt make the drop-offs, they would bring the boxes to the food bank, whose drivers would then make the deliveries themselves.
Keeping up with all of the extra food strained the food banks drivers and warehouse staff, particularly with Covid safety restrictions. Drivers no longer made deliveries with a partner. The number of workers picking food from each warehouse aisle had to be reduced. Food distributions moved outdoors, which became harder when winter hit.
The food banks benefits outreach team was also stretched thin. The number of calls to its hotline, set up to guide people seeking access to other government assistance programs, nearly tripled from March to December compared with the same period in 2019.
People turn on their televisions and see food bankers and food banks meeting the need, said Katie Fitzgerald, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Feeding America. But what I think people dont realize is that these men and women, who are either staff or the limited volunteer corps that we have, are really first responders, and theyre exhausted.
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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.
How To Qualify For Food Bank Assistance
Is there anything youve ever pondered about how to qualify for food assistance? Food assistance programs are open to everyone whose family income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold. The California Department of Social Services determines whether or not a person is eligible for public assistance based on their income.
When formulating the income criteria, the number of people in a family and the total household income are considered. You are eligible for food assistance if your familys income is at or below the amount specified for the number of people in your home. While a persons zip code or neighborhood does not determine their eligibility, it will help them locate a food bank in their area.
In some instances, you may be referred to a food bank due to a lack of money due to unexpected bills, illness, domestic abuse, or a delay in benefit payment. You can also get a food bank referral if you have been rejected for a crisis loan, have a low income, are in debt, or have been jobless.
Food banks are meant to help individuals in times of hardship. Food can provide long-term assistance by ensuring that those in need do not have to return to the banks.
If you are in a crisis now and want assistance, please contact us here in Second Harvest of the Greater Valley or visit one of our locations. We are here to help you in these trying times.
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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
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.
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What Is The Difference Between A Food Bank And A Food Pantry
A food bank has the capacity to distribute millions of pounds of grocery product every year. … A FOOD PANTRY is an individual site that distributes bags or boxes of food directly to those in need who reside in a specified area. A food pantry is a member agency of, and obtains food from, a food bank.
Food And Grocery Donations
Each year, Missouri food banks distribute over 98 million pounds of food and grocery products to hungry and needy Americans in communities across the country.
Whether you are interested in donating a truckload of onions, several pallets of close-to-code granola bars, a tote of frozen vegetables, a pallet of mixed and assorted dairy products, or 20 cases of shampoo, we ensure your donation reaches Missourians in need through our network of member food banks. Our members can transport dry, refrigerated, and frozen products of any quantity from your warehouse or plant.
If your company is interested in donating bulk food and/or groceries, please contact our Resource Development Manager,
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