What to Donate to a Food Bank

  • A stack of chicken noodle soup ready to deliver to a food bank.
It’s a great idea to contribute to your local food bank or soup kitchen now—or at any time of the year. And while anything you give is likely welcome, there are certain items that are more useful than others.

Most Wanted Food Bank Donations

According to Feeding America, the most wanted donations to food banks include the following:

• Applesauce
• Canned beans
• Canned chicken
• Canned tuna and salmon
• Canned SPAM and ham
• Canned vegetables
• Cooking oils, including olive oil and canola
• Crackers
• Herbs and spices like oregano, cumin, pepper, basil, and cinnamon
• Granola bars
• Instant mashed potatoes
• Meals in a box, like pasta and rice kits
• Nuts • Pasta
• Peanut butter
• Rice
• Powdered milk
• Soup, stew, and chili
• Whole grain cereal
• Fruit, either canned or dried

What Not to Donate to a Food Bank

Feeding America says there are three things you’re better off leaving in your pantry. Junk food like potato chips isn’t good for anyone and can be skipped. Items in glass packaging can be broken in transit. The last thing to avoid are cans that require opening with a can opener (look for pop top cans instead).

How to Donate to a Food Bank

One in eight people in the United States struggle with hunger, according to Feeding America. Just one bad month can plunge a household into crisis and, when that happens, a food bank can make the difference between going to bed hungry—or having a good meal and being able to feed your children. You can help by finding a food bank near you and making a donation.

About StorageMart

At StorageMart, we’re thankful for all of the people and communities we serve and embrace the belief that small actions make a big difference.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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