How and Where to Donate Food

There’s something about the holiday season that makes us want to give back. It’s not called the season of giving for nothing! If you want to help the less fortunate this holiday season, but you don’t have much money or time to spare, you can easily donate food and other non-perishables to do your part. Here are the best ways and places to donate food:

How and Where to Donate:

Food banks– Donating directly to those who need it is one of the best ways to provide food for others. Check with your local food bank to see hours and acceptable donations. Each food bank needs unique donations, so be sure to check ahead of time to see what they’re in need of!

Grocery stores– Most grocery stores have pre-made donation packages that are available for purchase for $5 or $10. This option takes the guesswork out of choosing what exactly to buy and what the local food banks need.

Drop boxes– Keep a lookout for drop boxes around your town that accept non-perishable food donations. There are usually multiple indoor and outdoor locations that offer drop-offs.

Food drives– You can keep a lookout for local food drives sponsored by schools, churches, hospitals, and other organizations. Food drives are great because they can also accept cash donations as well!

Things to Keep in Mind:

Although any donation is greatly appreciated, there are some guidelines that can help out when it comes to distribution and accessibility. To make it easier on the volunteers and recipients, try to follow these tips when donating:

  •      Use easy-open containers– Try to donate cans with easy-open pull tops rather than a traditional can. Many recipients won’t have a can opener, and will be so grateful to receive a can that doesn’t need one!
  •      Keep it simple– Any food product that uses or requires few ingredients and minimal cooking to eat is best. Try not to donate boxes of food that need several ingredients, like eggs, milk, or sugar. More simple “just add water” foods are best.
  •      Label items– If your food items contain peanuts, other allergens, or are gluten-free, then label it to reflect that. This small detail makes it easier for people working at distribution centers to correctly organize food items and get them to the right people.

Whatever you decide, just know that any donation is greatly appreciated. Call around or check online to see the locations and hours of local food banks, grocery stores, and other donation centers. If these don’t work with your schedule, then drop-off boxes are another great option. And while it’s good to give around the holiday season, it’s just as important to donate at other times of the year, too!

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