We often think of the holiday season as a harbinger of cold weather, good food, and lots of celebrations. But it's also a time to think about how you can support your community at large, so that every family is able to feel safe and eat a warm dinner. For that reason, you should consider donating items to a local food bank before Thanksgiving and Christmas — especially since a lot of the products food banks need might already be sitting in your pantry.
"Holiday celebrations are often centered around food, and for families that struggle to afford groceries, it can be a very difficult time," explains Zuani Villarreal, the Director of Communication at Feeding America, a nationwide network of over 200 food banks. "Canned foods including beans, chicken, fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, soup, stew and chili are always welcome."
Villarreal also makes a point to caution those who wish to donate against giving food banks anything with glass or cellophane packaging, or anything that has been broken or otherwise tampered with, or doesn't have a label.
When donating items to food banks, you should look for food that's preferably canned, has a long shelf life, and is healthy to eat. Here are some suggestions to get you started: