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Many of us generously donate food to help our community.

The next time you donate to your local food assistance program, consider what you’re donating. By making a few simple choices you can provide community members with food options that provide nourishment and promote long-term health and well-being.

Some ideas for healthy food donations include:

Vegetables and Fruit:

  • Lower sodium:
    • Canned vegetables
    • Pasta and Tomato sauce
    • Vegetable soup
    • 100% vegetable cocktails
  • Canned fruit packed in water or 100% fruit juice
  • Applesauce without added sugar
  • Fruit cups without added sugar
  • 100% fruit juice

Grain Products:

  • Whole grain:
    • Rice
    • Dry pasta
    • Low-sugar, ready-to-eat cereal
    • Crackers
  • Oats
  • Cream of wheat

Milk and Alternatives:

  • Powdered skim milk
  • Canned unsweetened evaporated milk
  • Fortified soy, almond, or rice beverage

Meat and Alternatives:

  • Lower sodium:
    • Canned fish like tuna or salmon packed in water
    • Canned beans and lentils
  • Dried or canned legumes like black beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans
  • Canned meat like chicken or turkey
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts

Baby Food and Non-food Items:

  • Baby items:
    • Food like pureed baby food (jars), and infant cereal
    • Diapers
    • Wipes
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Personal items:
    • Shampoo
    • Soap
    • Deodorant
    • Toothpaste

Other Considerations:

Food banks are looking for safe, healthy, and tasty foods to feed their clients. Before you donate, make sure:

  • The food item is labelled.
  • The food item is not expired.
  •  The food package is sealed in its original container.

Also, ask yourself, "would I eat this myself or feed it to my family?" before giving food to a food bank.

Sometimes certain items are more needed than others. To make sure you're donating items that are most needed call your local food bank and ask if they're looking for any particular items.

To find a food bank near you, call 211 or visit 211 online.