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Some items are in high demand at the food bank and you may not realize it. Because they aren’t essentials, the staff doesn’t publicly ask for them.
A survey on Reddit.com asked volunteers what items most people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 20 below.
If you’re looking for an easy way to help out, pick some of these up while shopping and drop them off at one our area food banks.
1. Toiletries. Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, chapstick, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.
2. Baby toiletries. Diapers in all sizes, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.
3. Feminine products. Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: buy in bulk at Costco for donating.
4. Socks. From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warmm make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”
5. Soup packets. Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and thing, “What do I make with this?”. Hearty soup is a complete meal.
6. Biscuit or baking mixes (again that only require water).
7. Cans, cartons or boxes of powered and evaporated milk.
8. Low-sugar cereal like plain Cheerios, instant oatmeal, instant grits.
9. Peanut butter.
10. Pasta, pasta sauce.
11. Sliced bread. It’s got a long shelf life but always goes immediately.
12. Snack items for kids to take to school: juice boxes, applesauce containers, granola bars.
13. Crackers and tortillas. They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.
14. Spices. Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned good, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.
15. Canned meats and jerky. This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein. Think beyond tuna & soup, which food banks get tons of. Instead go for canned beef, canned ham, canned chicken, canned salmon. Or hearty ready-to-go meals like beef stew and chilli with meat.
16. Canned vegetables: Everyone donates green beans. Instead give potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas or any other veggies your family likes.
17. Canned fruit other then pineapple. Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.
18. Chocolate. People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials especially when it comes time to fill stockings.
19. Bags of apple or potatoes.
20. Money. Many food banks and pantries have access to lower cost supplies then you or I do so a cash donation may go further. Plus, they’re able to get exactly what they need!
Thanks you, all of your help is greatly appreciated.
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