Food banks receive a lot of old stuff as donations. People clean out their cabinets and send the things they don’t want to charity, but they don’t necessarily pay attention to expiration dates when they do so. But even though food banks are used to getting food that’s past its best-by date, one food bank was flabbergasted recently to receive a can of soup that was at least 46 years old.
According to the BBC, the Cardiff Food Bank in Wales recently received a can of Heinz Kidney Soup as part of a donation. The can was rusty but still sealed, and it had a price label on top that said “10d.” The “d” indicates that the can was priced in old pennies, so the can cost 10 old pennies, and there were 12 old pennies to a shilling. But the U.K. got rid of that currency when it switched to a decimalized system in 1971. That means the soup is 46 years old or older.
"It will probably still be in date, that's the funny thing, but will I eat it? Absolutely not," food bank representative Helen Bull told the BBC.
Bull said the can was definitely the oldest thing the Cardiff Food Bank has ever received, but they’ve had other very old gifts in the past. She’s previously seen a can of corn from 1982 and some pasta from the 1970s.
The food bank posted a photo of the old soup to Twitter, and even the company that made made it was shocked. Heinz UK saw the food bank’s Tweet and responded that Heinz had discontinued its kidney bean soup more than 35 years ago.
Donating to a food bank is an excellent way to help, but food banks can’t use out-of-date items. Sending monetary donations or still-edible food is one of many much better ways to fight hunger effectively.