It’s Time For Spring Cleaning
Let’s Gear Up for “Summer To End Hunger” Food Donation Event
Springtime is the best season to think about cleaning out cabinets and drawers and we want to help you make room for summer with some ideas to feel better and make an impact!
Your Kitchen Cupboards Called to Say: “Help!”
Overstocked with Pandemic shutdown “hoarding,” our cupboards may be filled with too much food. Check the labels and start putting food items in a box that are not going to get used. Donating overstocked non-perishable foods are a wonderful way to organize and make an impact in your community.
Food Drives Help To Feed People With The Most Need
So much of our foods get thrown away when they can be donated and redistributed through organizations like Food Finders. See our Food List below
When You Donate Food To Avoid Food Waste and Help The Environment
Food banks are especially important in the food distribution process. They work with their local communities to ensure that everyone has access to healthful foods. They solicit, receive, store, and distribute fresh produce (when available) and pantry staples (like the foods we are listing below).
Food Banks and Pantries help people get connected to other essential benefits and serve as community hubs for volunteers who are serving their local communities.
How To Host A Food Drive
Any business, community center, Library, retailer, or city location can host a food drive. Food Finders will provide a storage bin, signage, and donation food lists. Food Finders will also arrange to pick up all the collected food items from you!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or give Mark a call at 562-283-1400 Ext 117.
What Kinds of Food Can You Donate?
Plastic jars of unsweetened applesauce serve as a great quick snack with just enough fiber and vitamin C. Applesauce is also a smart choice because it preserves well on food bank shelves.
2. Canned Beans
Full of protein and fiber, canned beans offer a superb and nourishing way to fill an empty tummy. Try to look for low-sodium variations whenever available.
3. Canned Chicken
While canned chicken may seem like a simple choice, it is high in protein content and can be a perfect item for those on the go. Additionally, its versatility makes it a popular item at food banks. Try adding this non-perishable item into soups, casseroles, sandwiches, or crackers!
4. Canned Meat (SPAM and Ham)
Do you have some extra SPAM or canned ham? If so, make sure to drop it off at your local food donation site. It’s shelf-stable, does not require much preparation or equipment to eat, and provides a quick source of protein that keeps individuals feeling full for longer periods of time.
5. Canned Fish (Tuna and Salmon)
Canned fish has various vitamins, especially omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Many food banks are in need of canned tuna and salmon because it makes for such a convenient and easy meal.
6. Canned Vegetables
Residents in need are continuously requesting lively, nutrient-dense, and fiber-rich vegetables. Make sure to grab low-sodium options. Canned variations also last the longest on a food bank’s shelves. Food banks frequently hand out recipes that utilize the items they have in stock.
Are an ideal snack or can be used as a base for canned proteins. They are also shelf-stable and portable, making them perfect for snacks and lunches. Whole-grain crackers are the best bet.
8. Cooking Oils (Olive and Canola)
Food banks heavily depend on these essential and costlier items to be donated. Canola and olive oils are the preeminent choices because of their monounsaturated fats and minor flavor.
9. Dried Herbs and Spices
It is hard to cook a flavorsome meal without herbs and spices. So, drop a few in your shopping cart to donate! We suggest sticking to the fundamentals: oregano, basil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon.
10. Fruit (Canned or Dried)
Fruit, whether dried, canned or in plastic cups can make superb snacks for young children and adults. Select those that are packaged in water or fruit juice instead of sugary syrups.
With a handful of nuts, they deliver protein and nutrients instantaneously, which has made them perfect for snacks and lunches. Food banks have a difficult time obtaining them due to their higher price, so they heavily rely on donations. Go for unsalted varieties when possible.
12. Granola Bars
Food banks are continuously in need of fast and easy items that families can throw into lunches or eat on the go. Granola bars are the answer. Try to look for the ones that have fewer grams of sugar, made with oats, or other whole grains.
13. Instant Mashed Potatoes
Instant potatoes last a very long time and require minimal cooking tools and ingredients. They are also a beloved staple item in every age group, making an item that goes quickly off Food Banks’ shelves.
14. Grocery Meals in a Box
An entire meal that’s shelf-stable and in one package is the best way to nourish a hungry tummy. It is very popular with those who do not have a stocked kitchen or tools needed to prepare a meal. The best options are pasta, rice, and soup kits (particularly those that are lower in sodium and higher in fiber and protein).
In Food banks, pasta is a staple item since it can be easily turned into a meal. Opt for whole-grain selections that offer more fiber and nutrition compared to white pasta.
16. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a high source of protein that can be eaten alone or combined with other food items. Since both children and adults like it, peanut butter is easily one of the most desired items at food banks.
This popular item is filling, versatile, easy to prepare, and store. Consider substituting white rice for brown rice instead because it is a healthier option with much more fiber to offer. Quinoa is another great alternative item to donate if feasible.
18. Shelf-stable and Powdered Milk
The best part of this item is that no refrigeration is required to keep it fresh, which makes it available to everyone. More importantly, milk delivers a much-needed source of calcium and protein (especially for a developing child).
19. Whole Grain Cereal
This is another popular item with all age groups. Whole-grain cereal makes for a healthy and quick breakfast or snack. Some selections are low in sugar and high in fiber that helps provide nutrients to good digestive bacteria, which then release substances that help lower levels of inflammation body-wide.
This is a sweet, viscous food substance that can be used as a natural sweetener. It is rich in antioxidants and propolis, which each promote burn and wound healing. It can also be used to help suppress coughing in children.
21. Soup, Stew, and Chili
These substances act as a warm and satisfying lunch or dinner. You can find these items in canned or packaged form and they are often sold as a complete meal with protein (meat) and veggies. If possible, attempt to find reduced-sodium alternatives.
What to skip when donating to your local food bank:
- Junk food (chips, cookies, candy)
- Packaged items with glass or cellophane (these can be easily broken in transit)
- Items that require can openers or cooking equipment
- Instead, try to donate pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit
Start Your Own Food Drive with Food Finders Help. Learn More https://foodfinders.org/event/summer-to-end-hunger-food-drive/