Congrats! You have decided to donate to a food bank and help members of your community with their own food insecurities. This amazing act can be amplified by focusing on what you donating and what time in the year you donate to your local food bank.
In this article, we will focus on tips for donating to your local food bank that you have identified using our locator on our website. We will cover the best types of foods to donate to a food bank and also when it is best to donate out of a given year.
Types of Foods:
There are many different types of foods that one can donate to a food bank. And if you are like myself, just looking through the pantry gets you excited about donating all different types of foods that might be able to help food banks.
But before you get carried away, here are some food groups that are wonderful to donate:
- Canned soups, beans, fruit, and other canned goods
- Peanut butter
These items mentioned above are not a definitive list, however they are a great starting point. The key takeaway is that you should donate foods that have a really long shelf life. For example, canned soup has a shelf life ranging from 12 to 18 months! No wonder why people hoard soup during times of uncertainty!
In general, focus on donating canned goods instead of perishable items like breads, cookies, and other items spoil easily.
Most food banks also have lists of approved items on their websites, or a representative will gladly chat over the phone about questions you have!
Best Times to Donate:
Many people donate to food banks during Thanksgiving or Christmas, which is really heartwarming and allows families and individuals to give back to their communities during times of rejoice. Food banks are often grateful for the extra donations during the later months of the year and are able to stretch those donations until January or February.
However, by March and April, a lot of food banks across the country start to run out of food for their patrons. Going into the summer, the resources of food banks are often scarce and this is detrimental for the people that rely on food banks for their daily needs.
To solve this issue, consider donating in these off months in the spring and early summer. Food banks would love the donations during this time and you can impact patrons in a great way.
So in conclusion, try and donate non-perishable items (like soups, rice, and pasta) during the spring and early summer. Good luck donating!