Some items are in high demand at the food bank and you may not realize it. Because they aren’t essentials, the staff doesn’t publicly ask for them. A survey on Reddit.com asked volunteers what items people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 10 below. If you’re looking for an easy way to help out, pick some of these up while shopping and drop them off at one of our area food banks.
Spices: Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.
Feminine Products: Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.
Chocolate: People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.
Toiletries: Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.
Canned meats and jerky: This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.
Crackers and tortillas: They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.
Baby toiletries: Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.
Soup packets: Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.
Canned fruit other than pineapple: Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.