The holiday season is an especially difficult time for those living with food insecurity. According to feedingamercia.org, one in eight people in Iowa struggle with hunger. Food is expensive and the cost of groceries adds up quickly, especially with many mouths to feed. This holiday season, here is a list of the best items to donate to our local food banks.
Often times food pantries have relationships with retailers and wholesalers that allow their dollar to stretch further than it would if you were to purchase it from the grocery store. Financial donations are an extremely effective way to help those with food insecurities within your community.
Food pantries always can take things like canned meats (i.e. tuna and chicken), canned vegetables, canned fruit, 100% fruit juice, peanut butter, canned beans or dried beans, nuts, hearty soups or stews (both canned and dried), rice, oatmeal, pasta, cooking oil, etc. Canned items are usually preferred to glass so they won’t break.
Food banks almost always benefit from supplies for babies such as formula, baby food, cereals, and diapers. Many food pantries also have children’s clothing and coats available, so donations of underwear, socks, and coats are highly valued, especially during cold winter months.
Personal Hygiene Items
Personal hygiene items like toothpaste, mouthwash, feminine products, laundry detergent, razors, shampoo, and toilet paper are usually in short supply in food pantries, but are items that are very costly and useful for those in need. Even for those that qualify for food stamps, personal hygiene products are necessities that are not covered. Just remember to keep the personal care items separate from the food items.
For more information about donating items, time, or money to area food banks please visit: Coralville Community Food Pantry, Johnson County Crisis Center, Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP), North Liberty Community Pantry, and The Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids.