Friday, January 17, 2014

~ 10 Things Food Banks Need But Won't Ask For ~

Getty Images, Justin Sullivan

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 asked volunteers what items people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 10 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 of our area food banks.

1. Spices.

Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.

2. Feminine Products.

Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. 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.

4. 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, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.

5. Canned meats and jerky.

This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.

6. Crackers and tortillas.

They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.

7. Baby toiletries.

Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.

8. Soup packets.

Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.

9. Socks.

From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”

10. Canned fruit other than pineapple.

Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.

And remember! Food banks love cash donations because it allows them to buy whatever they need!

I ran across this article and thought I would share. I know that I've not considered donating these items...perhaps you haven't thought of it either. Spices make a huge difference for us in our cooking & baking...just having salt & pepper is huge. Can you even imagine ladies and young girls not having the feminine items needed? That reminds me of our female military personnel...sometimes they are so far out they don't have access or the facility doesn't have them. Every time I've sent a CARE package to a female soldier, I include these things and they LOVE it!  

Ok, back to the Food Banks ~ think of them when you're making purchases at grocery or drug stores. Perhaps socks at Walmart or Target?  I promise, you will feel wonderful when you give to others!

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  1. These are all great things to donate! I never thought about spices, but you're right, I can't imagine cooking without them. And chocolate...everyone needs a little chocolate in their life. :) Thanks for the tips!

  2. Thank you Pat for passing on this valuable information. When we donate, it is so hard to know what is needed most and this list will help me in the future. xo

  3. Thank you Pat! I would have never thought of some of these items:) Have a blessed weekend, HUGS!

  4. This is a great article! We often think of toiletries when we are donating but never thought about spices. Feminine products are so darn expensive. I can't even imagine needing to choose between food or those necessary items.

  5. I would not have thought of spices. Feminine items and baby wipes, yes. There is a coffee every Christmas that some friends give, and they accept donations such as these. But I like the idea of chocolate, too!



  6. Oh so true! I'll have to remember that. We have a couple ladies from our church who have opened their home (storage building) as a Care and Share Ministry. They take furniture and repair it, clothes, and of course food. Don't know if they have the items you mentioned. Will definitely pass this along.

  7. I do the feminine things all the time and also do the crackers. I had not thought about some of the other stuff. Thanks for the list- xo Diana

  8. Great ideas, Pat! Thank you for taking the time to help us remember what is needed. xo
    p.s. I don't know why but I'm not getting your posts emailed to me like I used to.

  9. Very good food for thought (seriously did not intend that pun). I wouldn't have thought about spices,...will keep that and your other suggestions in mind.

  10. Good to know, Pat! Never thought about spices.

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

    A wonderful list.

    I'm sure you wouldn't mind, if I link to it, in a post of mine. The more people exposed to this information, the better, it seems.


  12. Thank you for replying to my question, in my blog today.

    Wondering how you feel, about mostly responding, in the commenter's own blog comments? That is what I tend to do. Always with a Re: Your Comment Link, of course. So the person easily knows, to what I am referring.

    I don't go back to re-read blogs, to see how they commented on comments. Nor do I feel that every comment, has to have some sort of a "reply." Guess I feel, that my reading/commenting in a blog, is enough to show that I am trying to be a blogging friend.

    Suppose I should ask that specific question! Oh my, how questions beget questions.

    Again, thank you for responding.


  13. Smart additions, Pat. I've never thought of adding spices!
    I always buy up the discounted chocolates after the holidays to bring. Fresh fruit is always appreciated. We once had a bakery make two cakes for us by mistake and gave us both for the price of one. I dropped one off at the food pantry. A child got a birthday cake that day. A mother shed joyful tears that a cake was at the pantry. I guess it wasn't a mistake, after all. You almost never know the difference you make in someones life by donating, but that day I got to see and feel the emotion and the gratitude. I'll never forget it. Something I took for granted meant the world to a mom who wasn't going to be able to give her son a birthday cake. She broke my heart when she said she felt like such a failure as a mom.
    Thanks Pat, for sharing and getting us thinking about this. I think it's time for me to get over there again with some new items to share. xo

  14. Hey, Gypsy....I was so so tickled to hear from you.
    Yep, I THOUGHT I was blocked out of my original blog when I changed email address..after trying everything in the world, I finally started my new blog. It's about the same, just different address.
    Thanks for this wonderful post. I am so going to add things you mentioned to my donations.
    xoxo bj

  15. What a great post Pat - I never once have included spices in any food donations ( and I'm a spice fanatic so don't know why I wouldn't have )
    We take so much for granted.........
    Thanks for the reminder
    Much love to you as always

  16. Oh so true…Our neighborhood is very active at our local food bank…we do a collection twice a month for it…Our food bank also has a "Birthday Closet"…it is filled with cake mixes and canned frosting and also small gifts for boys and girls….a great thing!...

  17. These are great ideas, Pat! So good to keep in mind for donating!

  18. Definitely some good ideas that I had not thought of. I never thought of feminine hygiene products for instance. Pinning this!

  19. Excellent suggestions - you listed some things I never think to put on our food bank bags, but now I will.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

  20. just saw this post and loved it. I will buy some treats in the future to share at the food bank.

    Our local food bank runs a thrift store that supports the food bank. They have provided over 3 million dollars to the local community so far. I donate only to them now, as Goodwill ships the "good" donations off and sells locally only the less desirable donations. I don't buy there or donate there.


It makes my Heart happy to hear from you! Thank you so much for taking the time to say hello. I want to respond to each comment, however, if you are a "no reply blogger" I can't. Would love to have an email address to contact you!