What Are the Best Items to Donate to a Food Pantry?


Looking to clear out your pantry? Some of your items might be ideal to donate to those who need it!

Plenty of Americans depend on their local social services to get through their day-to-day. Between economic instability and stretched resources, some people just need the help. Others are fortunate enough to have the ability to help the members of their community. A common way of doing this is to donate food to a food pantry, but it isn’t always clear what kind of items are good to donate. If you’re interested in donating to a local food pantry, you’re already off to a commendable start, but let’s look at some of the best items to donate.

Non-Perishable Protein

Protein is particularly hard to come across, especially in a form that is non-perishable and can last a family until they really need it. Typically proteins are found in the fridge so anything that isn’t perishable is incredibly useful for families in need. This includes anything like canned meats as well as peanut or almond butter. Beans are a great option as well and can offer up necessary proteins to those who need it most.

Meals in a Can or Box

These are some of the best things to donate because many of the families who need resources like a food pantry are already stretched out by time constraints. It can be difficult for them to come home after working at two jobs and make a fresh, home cooked meal, so sometimes you need to rely on things like canned soup, stew, or chili. These options are quick and easy to make but still feel satisfying enough to call a meal.

Canned Classics

Any kind of canned food is useful to families that don’t have the resources to eat fresh food regularly. Sometimes this is the only place families living in poverty can sneak vegetables and fruit into their diets so those are critical items. When looking for canned veggies, think about low-sodium options as those tend to be healthier. If you’re thinking about donating canned fruit, brands that are canned in juice—rather than syrup—are also a bit healthier.  

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