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Thursday, March 15, 2012

What to Bring to a Food Bank

Aside from the obvious- food- there are items people need that get in short supply when they have a hard row to hoe. And sometimes peep don't know exactly what foods a pantry needs to keep in stock. There are, believe it or not, people who've never set foot inside a food bank. Twisted Scottish Bastard just reminded me of those needs. Our Drop-In Center posts a "general needs" list, so here's a list for handy reference.

Pasta, sauce
Peanut butter
Soups, crackers
Canned meals
Canned fruits & vegetables
Canned protein items
Baby food
Cereals and other nonperishable foods
Personal care items (toothpastes, toothbrushes, soaps, shampoo, floss, denture cleaners, bandaids, combs)
Feminine hygiene supplies
Diapers & formula; baby wipes, paper towels, toilet tissue
Laundry detergent

Check with your local food bank to make sure they carry items beside food in their location; some have a separate locale for nonfood items.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

You might want to add packaged instant meals that you only need to add water and microwave. Some people do not have the facilities to cook a meal. With these, they can go into a local 7/11 or mini mart at a gas station and heat their dinner up. I bring in a few every week to the food bank where I work, and they go quickly.

Austan said...

I don't think our pantry takes microwaveable meals because the shelters and such in town don't have mike ovens (and gas stations, etc. here wouldn't let noncustomers use theirs). Our homeless, if not in a shelter, camp out and mike food is useless to them.

sdt said...

One thing I would like to note: over the last several years there has been an increase in people getting various allergies. I'm allergic to most perfumes, for instance. Personal care items -are-available without artificial perfumes in them.

Also, there are a large number of people who are allergic to wheat. There are a growing list of gluten free foods available.

And etc.

Just a little reminder that there are all kinds of goods one can donate. (I'm tired and not wording this well.)

The Elephant's Child said...

We have a wonderful organisation OzHarvest ( which collects excess food from function centres and restaurants and delivers them to refuges and other places where people are in need.

Austan said...

Stevil- Good to note that.

EC- We have CityHarvest and such in the states. Wonderful organizations that do these things.