Tis the season of giving to a holiday food drive. Which means that it is about that time when schools, libraries, offices, and stores will have canned food drives for local shelters and food banks. Every year without fail there is the question, what are the best things I can add to the food drive? Below I’ve made a list of the best foods you can donate and I’ve included a few non-food items too that are always in demand in shelters and food banks.
But before we get into those lists it’s important to keep a few things in mind when you’re shopping. For instance, the recipient of your items might not have a can opener. So if they get a can of green beans that don’t have a pull tab it’s the same as not having those green beans at all. Make sure that all the cans you donate have a pull tab to open them.
You also shouldn’t buy anything that is in glass or another material that might break easily. The food will have to undergo quite a bit of transportation and we want to make sure it has a high chance of making it to its final destination. Make sure that the food you donate isn’t going to expire soon. There are a lot of donations given at Christmas time, sometimes so many that they sit on shelves for months before they’re handed out. A good rule of thumb is that it should have at least 6 months left before it expires.
There has been a big push recently to give foods that are healthier. This means donating brown rice instead of white, whole grain pasta, low sodium foods, and fruit in juice rather than sugary syrups. Yes, these items are a little more expensive, but everyone deserves access to healthy food.
While many who are less fortunate may not be able to afford a turkey for the holidays, they would still enjoy sides that you’d only see during the holidays. It may seem small but for someone with very little, this is a great way for them to get into the spirit of the holiday. That’s why I’ve included festive favorites.
LIST FOR HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE
- Canned Pumpkin
- Canned Yams
- Cranberry Sauce
- Boxed Stuffing
- Dried Macaroni
- Diced Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce
- Canned Veggies
- Cooking Oils
- Dried Herbs and Spices
- Granola Bars
- Instant Mashed Potatoes
- Powdered Milk
- Toiletries (Travel size is best)
- Feminine Products
- Baby Supplies (Diapers, baby food [No formula], Baby clothes)
- Adult Diapers
- Socks for Men, Women, Children, and Compression
While you’re considering what to donate to the food drive of your choice this holiday season be sure to mark April in your calendar. In April food banks struggle as donations dry up but the demand remains high. You might even consider asking your office to hold another food drive then or hosting one yourself.
Great post! This is so useful. So important to donate this time of year, and to donate the right things!
I love this and yes…. it is super important to help those in need because you may be one of those some day and it simply just makes you feel good to do good. Thank you for this and a great reminder for the Holiday Season 🙂
Having a food drive for the holidays is just so fitting. We also did one in our place and it gives us so much happiness and love.