The Season of Giving is nearly upon us, and while most of us have plans to spend the holidays with friends and loved ones, now is also the time to think of those less fortunate. But if you’re going to donate to food banks, some foods are better than others. Here are 20 foods that food banks really need.
There are two important criteria that you should keep in mind when deciding what to donate: The items must be non-perishable and they should be as nutritious as possible. The foods need to be able to be stored until they’re needed, while also delivering as many nutrients as possible to the person who eats it, because it might be one of the only things that he or she eats that day.
Keep in mind that most canned goods are very high in sodium and most other inexpensive non-perishable foods are very low in nutrients. If you’re going to donate, make sure that it’s low in sugar and sodium and high in protein. Remember that whole-grain alternatives are always better than foods made with simple enriched flour. Don’t donate anything packaged in a glass container. Bulk sugar, flour, and rice are generally not needed. If you donate a canned good, make sure that it has a pop-top lid. And, obviously, don’t donate food that’s expired.
The goal of food banks is to provide nutritious meals and healthy options to those in need. Many also strive to educate people about proper nutrition. And don’t forget: Food banks do a lot more than just feed people, so toiletries like shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, diapers, feminine products, and deodorant are also in demand.
Read on to learn about some more items you might not have realized that food banks need. Read about great food-based charities that are worth donating to here. And if you’re making your delivery in person, cash is always appreciated as well!