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No. of Recommendations: 34
I donate regularly to one run by a church close to our house. Usually canned fruits/veggies I find on sale, food from our Angel Food we won't be able to eat, etc. Occasionally I will get a great price on canned meat (chicken or tuna) and will give those as well.

A couple of months in a row now, I have also donated one or two "cookie" bags - chocolate chips, flour, brown and granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. I thought with the holidays coming up, someone would be able to add butter and eggs and have homemade cookies for themselves and their families.

The items were very well recieved by the pantry (and they didn't replace regular food items - these were "extras" I had bought on sale and wouldn't be able to use, since half of T's family is on diets).

I was also told the pantry appreciates "complete" meals - so in addition to a case of green beans from Sam's, canned soups donated with a box of crackers will give someone *meals*, instead of just ingredients. If you are going to give pasta sauce, throw in some noodles, that sort of thing. From what I can recall helping the food pantry my church ran as a kid, the volunteers usually end up digging into their own meager pockets to supplement the offerings. How nice would it be to hand a family a grocery bag or two with 4 complete meals they could make? Instead of them (or the volunteers) having to scrounge up noodles or crackers or whatever, they would already be there.

Please don't just give the food pantries in your area random things lying on your shelf - regularly look for items on sale that you can donate, regular items. People who need to use food pantries are real people, with real families - and they deserve a decent meal and all the memories family dinners afford.

Certainly go for volume when possible - but remember that's not just canned items, but dry goods as well.

impolite
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No. of Recommendations: 6
People who need to use food pantries are real people, with real families - and they deserve a decent meal and all the memories family dinners afford.


Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?
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Until the end of the year, our local library is doing a *fine forgiveness* food drive.

So - if one has fines (from lost books or late movies) at the library, a donation to the food pantry will erase them completely.

the elf lost a book in June, and I finally caved Friday, assumed we would never find it, and made a donation.

OF COURSE, I found the book Sunday.

peace & foodbanks
t




People who need to use food pantries are real people, with real families
ps. long ago i used our in-town food bank because I *needed* it.
Now I donate regularly.
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Food pantries are a charity anyone can support. Healthy nutritious food.

First Lions club meeting every month is food pantry day. If you don't bring in a couple cans of food, Frank will come by your table while you're eating and collect your donation. Some voluntary contributions are less voluntary than others. I've known Frank for a long time, and I'm not willing to risk the real chance that he'd turn me over and shake me til some money came loose. Much easier just to contribute. I wouldn't blame him if he did.

Next month though, I think I'll bring in a couple jars of spaghetti sauce and some boxes of pasta.
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Next month though, I think I'll bring in a couple jars of spaghetti sauce and some boxes of pasta.

Buy some cans of spaghetti sauce. Cans are less likely to break than glass jars.
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My local market (Hannaford's) sells what they call Pantry Boxes for $10 with a box of store brand Cheerios, penne pasta, pasta sauce, canned green beans, a family size can of soup, a jar of peanut butter, a box of mac & cheese, and a can of peaches. You buy the box and leave it at the front of the store to be delivered to the local food pantry. I think last year they also did one that had more holiday-themed ingredients for this time of year, but I'm not sure.
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The food bank told me that they could get extreme discounts from supermarket suppliers. Now I donate money, instead of food, because they can buy more with the same dollars than I can.

Wendy
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The food bank told me that they could get extreme discounts from supermarket suppliers. Now I donate money, instead of food, because they can buy more with the same dollars than I can.


Either that or they just like money.


RJ - likes money
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our (very small, local food bank) doesn't get those kind of deals.
But they do sometimes ask for $5 & $10 Gift Certs to a nearby discount-type store.
(Like Aldi's only with some brand-name choices)

peace & pantries
t
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No. of Recommendations: 12
The food bank told me that they could get extreme discounts from supermarket suppliers. Now I donate money, instead of food, because they can buy more with the same dollars than I can.

Wendy


The kids like to help me shop for things to give. It's kind of a game, with coupons and sales circulars and such, to get the most for the amount I have to spare that month. It helps them learn to shop for food and be altruistic.

They are also familiar with the concept of Angel Food, as I purchase it some months. We also will buy two packages and tell the church to keep one for a needy family some particularly flush months.

Perhaps when they are older and get some sort of allowance I will have them decide which community organization gets the "donate" portion of their income. That would be a nice way to funnel money towards food.

It's really hard sometimes to decide how to teach your children, you know? When they are still this small, sometimes that takes the form of *actual things that can be held*, rather than money (which might be the most efficient form of donation, but not the form that actually has meaning for them).

My daughter understands food, tangible items she can help pack in a bag. She can understand that this box of pasta plus this can of sauce and these two cans of vegetables is a full meal for a family because that's what I would lay out on the cabinet before I would begin cooking for us. I don't think $5 has the same meaning for her yet.

My son would probably come closer, and he can read the price of items, multiply it by how many we are getting, and subtract the coupon he's holding in his hand.

But for now, donating actual food is good for them and for our purposes.

impolite
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Perhaps when they are older and get some sort of allowance I will have them decide which community organization gets the "donate" portion of their income.


Way to indoctrinate them into socialism.

Karl Marx would be proud.
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Certainly go for volume when possible - but remember that's not just canned items, but dry goods as well.

Thanks, imp. My MIL runs our local food pantry and I do some volunteer tech support there, so this is a cause near and dear to my heart.

One small note on volume: more items in smaller quantities is usually preferable to a warehouse-club size of an item. One giant jar of peanut butter can't be divided amongst multiple families. Our pantry sometimes gets well-meaning donations of industrial-size cans and they just have a hard time distributing them.

Food pantries generally see an uptick of donations during the holidays, and these donations have to last through the leaner months. Summer is often a very difficult time for families and food pantries. With the kiddos not in school and getting free or reduced-cost meals, the families must provide more meals just as pantry coffers are getting empty. This would be a great message to repeat in six months. :)

Jane
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<It's really hard sometimes to decide how to teach your children, you know? When they are still this small, sometimes that takes the form of *actual things that can be held*, rather than money (which might be the most efficient form of donation, but not the form that actually has meaning for them).>

Ah! Thanks for explaining this.
Wendy
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Ah! Thanks for explaining this.
Wendy


No problem!

I know donating money would be the easiest and most efficient route, but I have found children rarely qualify as either.

impolite
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Food banks in our area are constantly saying that while they are happy to accept food donations, cash is the most useful form of donation because
* they have the connections to buy in bulk at lower prices
* they can use cash to buy anything overlooked by food-donors
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