Saturday, February 17, 2024

Where Can I Give Food Donations

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Change Lives With Spare Change

Healthiest foods to donate to food banks

At Care and Share Food Bank, we understand that life happensbut hunger shouldn’t. Thousands of our neighbors don’t know where their next meal will come from. Your donation can be the reason they never have to wonder again.

Just $1 provides 6 meals

to neighbors in need across Southern Colorado.

25 million lbs of food

was distributed across 31 counties last year.

209,172 people

received the food they needed from our network of partners and programs.

4,927 kids

took nutritious food home through our Children’s programs

Full belliesfull hearts

Last year, we gave out more than 12,976 Send Hunger Packing bags.

Our Send Hunger Packing school program provides kids with a bag of food each week to take home to their families. Programs like thesesupported by donors like youmean kids like Xander have the food they need to learn and grow.

Create A Giving Strategy

Many foundations have specific issue areas they focus on and a giving strategy in place. This, says Thieman, can be just as helpful for individual givers. When creating a giving strategy, she says to ask yourself:

  • What causes youre going to support
  • What nonprofits youre going to support
  • What your budget is for the year
  • If you have the ability, Thieman says it can be beneficial to set up recurring donations so that you minimize the legwork on your end, and your strategy is simply put in place. This will enable you to say no to things that dont align with your giving, budget your giving for the year, and ensure that your giving is aligned with your beliefs and values, she explains. Having this strategy in place minimizes the amount youll be pulled in all different directions.

    Sager is also a fan of creating a giving strategy. Its important to remember that meaningful philanthropy starts with ones values, then engaging with specific actions and organizations that reflect those values, she explains. Developing a strategic giving plan can inform choices that align with your priorities, time, and budget. Her organization created a giving plan to help both couples and individuals think about and talk through their philanthropic values and become more intentional with their charitable-giving decisions. It offers a template and a corresponding list of valuesand issue areas to help people navigate this.

    Virtual Fundraiser Vs Physical Food Drives: Which Is Best To Feed Our Neighbors

    While we will always appreciate donations of any type and amount, the truth is that compared to physical food drives, virtual fundraisers help provide immensely more food for our neighbors experiencing hunger.

    It all boils down to quantity. While a generous food donation of several grocery bags full of nourishing food would help feed a few people, a donation of, say, $20 would allow us to distribute enough food for 60 entire meals. Thats a lot of food way more than any one of us could buy ourselves at the store.

    Were able to distribute so much more food to our community with each dollar donated thanks to our multitude of partnerships, robust purchasing power, large-scale donations, and bulk pricing. Additionally, theres very little manpower required with virtual fundraisers. Rather than requiring the manpower and capacity of staff members and volunteers like physical food donations, virtual fundraisers allow our skilled sourcing team to procure the exact foods our community members want and need to thrive. That means more fresh produce, more culturally respectful items, more specialty holiday foods, and more items that have become out of reach for so many people due to record-high inflation and supply chain issues.

    Will we still gratefully accept food donations? Of course . However, theres no comparison when it comes to which type of drive provides more for our community: Virtual fundraisers are the way to help nourish as many neighbors as possible all year long.

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    How Do I Donate To A Local Food Bank

    The donation process will vary from food bank to food bank. To find your local food bank, Villarreal advises visiting and entering your zip code into the food bank locator. From there, she recommends connecting with that local food bank. Typically, theyâll have a most-needed list of items of things you can donate.

    Financial donations are also welcome at most food banks as are volunteers. âVolunteerism is a huge need at all food banks,â Guerra says. âAnd the donation of the dollar goes a long way also. In fact, with the increase of fuel, most food banks need the dollar more than ever to keep food flowing into and across their local service region.â

    Other local meal programs such as Meals on Wheels also rely on volunteers to deliver and prepare meals. âFor many recipients, the trusted Meals on Wheels volunteer who shows up every day with a meal and a smile is the only person they see or speak with all day,â says Jenny Young, the vice president of communications for Meals on Wheels America.

    And if youâre not in a position to donate food, money, or time, Davis says helping spread the word about available resources for families in need is one of the easiest ways to support. âNo Kid Hungry has a texting line to help,â she says. âFamilies can text âFOODâ or âCOMIDAâ to 304-304 to find community meal sites for their kids.â

    Giving Is Easy With Instacart

    Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving  The Scroll

    Were excited to share that weve teamed up with Instacart to make holiday giving extra easy this year with the launch of Community Carts! With this feature, you can now send food donations directly to us without leaving your home.

    All you have to do is:

  • Open our Community Cart on Instacart
  • Type the Food Banks address in the upper right: 10525 J St, Omaha, NE 68127
  • Shop most-needed items from our wish list
  • Check out and an Instacart shopper will deliver the items directly to us
  • In addition, if you place an order between now and December 4, 2022, Instacart will match the value of your donation 1:1 up to $100,000 to Feeding America.

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    Should I Donate Cash Or Cans

    • Donating money is the most effective way to help food banks provide food to our neighbors. Our network combines your donations with larger food industry donations to make the most significant impact possible. Monetary contributions also cover program costs like staff salaries, gas for delivery trucks, and repairs if refrigerators and freezers break.

    Get Involved And Get To Know Them

    From volunteering to meeting with staff, get to know their work and learn how you can make a difference, says Curry-Mims. She explains that you might think, I researched this organization, and I want to write a check. Yes, the check will have an impact, but you might learn that at this moment they really need volunteers or space in-kind to truly make a difference at this moment. Get to know them and their needs and goals to make the maximum impact possible, she says.

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    What Food Items Can Be Donated

    As a rule of thumb, Villarreal says food banks are looking for food pantry staples that most people have in their kitchens such as grains, pastas, canned beans, cereal, and peanut butter. Guerra adds that low-sodium canned vegetables, rice, and canned fruit are also needed.

    There are some items that food banks generally donât take as donations such as homemade items, Guerra says. Villarreal advises not donating items in glass containers as they can shatter during transportation or anything thatâs opened, damaged, or unlabeled.

    Keep the expiration dates in mind as well. âMany nonperishable items have a shelf life well beyond their sell-by date,â Guerra says. So, Villarreal recommends using your best judgment. If the item is near its expiration date it should be fine to donate, but if itâs well past the date itâs best to toss it.

    Depending on the food bank, some also accept other items as donations. Think of things that youâd find at your local grocery store such as feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, diapers, pet food, and other household items.

    Safe Food Handling Practices

    Salvation Army in need of food donations

    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.
    • Coughing or sneezing into their hands.
    • Handling raw meat.
    • 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

    Also Check: Maryland Food Bank Columbia Md

    Trust Me You Don’t Want The Rexrocks Team To Win

    Remember, if the RexStinks team wins, Ill write a column richly detailing how awful and pathetic I am. Itll be fierce. I wont know what hit me.

    If the RexRocks team continues on this path, however, Ill be forced to pen a piece extolling my near-infinite virtues, all while assuming that every hot take Ive ever mustered was 100% correct.

    Nobody wants to see that column.

    Can You Donate Expiring Canned Foods

    In addition to adhering to best practices such as abstaining from donating perishable items, leftovers, or homemade items, you should also avoid donating anything thats expired. Food banks will most likely check an expiration date before giving it to a family in need, but its better to be safe than sorry. As a general rule, if you wouldnt eat it, dont donate it.

    Read Also: Rocky Mountain Food Bank Volunteer

    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.

    Foods Unsuitable For Donation

    Donate to a Food Pantry for National Nutrition Month

    Certain foods are not suitable for donation because of safety concerns. These foods include:

    • Home canned, vacuum-packed or pickled foods.
    • Foods in soiled containers.
    • Perishable foods past a use by date, unless frozen.
    • Foods in sharply dented or rusty cans.
    • Foods in opened or torn containers exposing the food to potential contamination.
    • Unpasteurized milk.
    • Foods with an off odor.
    • Foods prepared, cooked, cooled, or reheated at home .

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    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.

    Contact Us:

    Limited Liability Protection For Donors

    The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 encourages the donation of food and grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. The Act exempts persons and gleaners who make good faith donations of food to nonprofit organizations that feed the hungry from liability for injuries arising from the consumption of the donated food.

    Under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, the following food donation standards apply:

    Persons and gleaners : Persons and gleaners, including qualified direct donors, shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food that the person or gleaner donates in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.

    Nonprofit organizations: Nonprofit organizations shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging, or condition of apparently wholesome food that the nonprofit organization received as a donation in good faith from a person or gleaner, including a qualified direct donor, for ultimate distribution to needy individuals.

    Donations of apparently wholesome food by qualified direct donors must be made in compliance with applicable state and local health, food safety, and food handling laws .

    Also Check: Food Banks In Saginaw Mi

    Why Should You Donate To Local Food Banks

    “Millions of vulnerable children are losing the healthy meals they depend on as the closes schools nationwide,” Davis said at the beginning of the pandemic. “As of , 39 states had closed schools entirely. When you add in the districts closed in other states it means 41.6 million kids, or 4 out of 5 kids, are out of school.” Even in areas where the schools were still open, many businesses were closed, which meant hourly workers who may have already been struggling to make ends meet were hit hard.

    Fortunately, as of July 2022, the health risks posed by the pandemic have lessened over time. However, Davis notes that the need and the financial impact has not abated. âFamilies still face ongoing challenges due to the strained supply chain, rising food and gas prices, and skyrocketing inflation,â she says. âToday, one in six kids face hunger in the U.S.â

    According to a recent Feeding America food bank survey, 80 percent of food banks across the country reported an increase or steady demand for food. Food insecurity exists everywhere, says Zuani Villarreal, the senior director of communication for Feeding America. âIt could be your classmate it could be a co-worker it could be your neighbor a fellow church goer that needs help and I think the awareness of that issue should drive people to help,â she says. For this reason, donating to food banks is more important than ever.

    How To Give Back In A More Focused Way And Stretch Your Charitable Impact

    Food donation app to end hunger

    Experts weigh in on how, if youre able to give this season, to make sure your donations of time and money go as far as they can.

    In recent years, there have been many causes to step up for and support. Weve been asked to donate to disaster relief efforts to support victims of hurricanes and wildfires, organizations like Planned Parenthood, Ukraine rescue committees, womens organizations, and nonprofits that benefit people of color and the LGBTQ community.

    Given all there is to support out there, many of us have given what we can to whomever seems to need our help at the moment. Five dollars here. $10 there. Maybe even a big chunk of change when it is financially viable for us. But is this the right way to give back? Can we make more of an impact if we concentrate our focus on specific charitable industries and consolidate our dollars and volunteer hours there? As we near the end of 2022, a time when many people are focused on giving back, heres a look into the pros and cons of more concentrated giving and advice on how, if you are able to give, to make sure you and those to whom you are donating are getting the most out of your charity.

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    Identify What You Care About

    Focusing your philanthropy on just a few causes that are close to your heart can be rewarding. The default for most people is to give a lot of smaller gifts, often because theyve given to those organizations for years or because of social pressure from within their community, explains Laura Latka, a philanthropic adviser and co-founder of the Giving Project. She notes, however, that when you ask people what causes are important to them, its a lot more exciting and fulfilling to give to fewer organizations that are more focused within an issue or issues that person cares about, with fewer but larger gifts. She reminds us that in addition to helping others, another aspect of giving that often gets lost in the conversation is the joy in giving. Giving should make you feel good. It should make you feel proud, and hopefully, it should be fun, says Latka. She says to ask yourself, What feels both impactful and exciting? and start from there.

    For Some Reason The Rexrocks Team Is Winning Big

    For reasons I cant fully explain, the majority of donors thus far have gone for praise. As of Friday, the RexRocks team had raised nearly 40 times what the RexStinks team had raised. Thats embarrassing.

    Theres no scenario in which Im 40 times better than anything. Heck, Id be lucky if I were two times better than anything.

    Insults and food:Using hate to fuel good in the world

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