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What Food Banks Need You To Donate

What Food Banks Need You To Donate

Thanksgiving is coming up. It's the holiday where everyone is grateful for what they have and we all feel a want to share our good fortune with others who are in need.

Everyone automatically thinks of food when it comes to charitable donations for the Thanksgiving. has a database of places to donate across the country. Just select your state and type in your city code to find the organization closest to you.

The more you can give the better! But before you drop off the shopping bag full of items here's a list of what shelters, food banks, local churches really can use to help others and a few surprising items that they can't use at all.

Items Food Banks Need The Most

  • Healthy cereals and oatmeal
  • Bags of potatoes or apples
  • Kids’ snack items (juice boxes, granola bars, etc.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Jars and pouches of baby food
  • unsweetened apple sauce
  • Toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, lip balm
  • Jars of pasta sauce
  • Canned fish and meat (salmon, tuna, ham, turkey—pop-top cans are best)
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Milk (fresh, canned, or powdered)
  • Peanut butter, Almond butter, Cashew butter
  • Canned beans
  • Sliced bread
  • Canned and dry soups
  • Baking mixes that require only water
  • Spices
  • dry beans
  • rolled oats
  • canned fruit in juice
  • canned vegetables, with no or low-sodium
  • low-sodium soups
  • canned tuna in water
  • canned chicken
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • nuts, unsalted
  • seeds, unsalted
  • shelf stable milk and milk substitutes
  • whole grain pasta
  • low-sodium pasta sauce
  • popcorn kernels (not microwave popcorn)
  • canned stews
  • olive or canola oil
  • canned tomatoes
  • dried fruits, no sugar added
  • honey
  • chicken, beef and vegetable broths and stock

Items Food Banks Just Can't Use

Many food bank clients struggle with health issues like diabetes, so high fiber, low sugar, whole-grain fresh foods are better than high-sodium or processed foods, whenever possible.

  • conventional peanut butter (with salt and sugar added)
  • white grains (white rice, white pasta, etc.)
  • canned vegetables with salt
  • canned fruit with syrup
  • cookies, fruit snacks, chips
  • sugar cereals, instant oatmeal
  • anything homemade or that needs to be refrigerated


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