What Food Banks Need Most This Holiday Season

Written by Mark A. Mangelsdorf

With the holidays on the horizon, it’s quite possible that you’re putting together a basket full of food for a less-fortunate family. While classic donations (like canned tuna) are undoubtedly useful, there’s a plethora of other needs that go unfulfilled.

As reported by Foodlets’ Charity Curley Matthews, here are some ideas on what food banks actually need:

1. Canned meat (other than tuna). The need for this is universally reported.

2. Low sodium canned vegetables and fruit (packaged in juice). Organizations receive mostly green beans and pineapple, so other varieties are particularly desired.

3. Snacks for kids, such as granola bars and popcorn.

4. 100 percent fruit juices in single-serving boxes.

5. Canned food with pop-top lids, which the homeless can open without a can opener.

6. Baby food. Take Part mentions how impoverished parents have a serious fear of inconsistent food for infants.

7. Personal hygiene products. Take Part also reports that, when given food stamps, people often overlook the need for products like toilet paper.

8. Low-sugar breakfast foods like Cheerios and instant oatmeal.

9. Feminine products. Foodlets states that unscented pads are the most useful.

10. Holiday foods. This is an important one, with food shelters hoping to receive things such as canned turkey (some will even accept whole turkeys and hams), sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Click here for other items that you should consider donating.


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This post originally appeared on NationSwell.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim V11 months ago

thanks for the article.

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thank you for sharing

holly masih
h masih2 years ago


Fi T.
Past Member 2 years ago

Help as much as we can

Rhonda B.
Rhonda B2 years ago

Thank you

Paulo Reeson
Paulo R2 years ago

Thank you

David W.
David W2 years ago

Thanks. Good reminders.

Andy Walker
Past Member 2 years ago

Disgraceful that they are needed.

Carla Thames
Carla T2 years ago

I always try to give to local food banks when the post office does their annual pick-up. You leave a few cans in or beside your mailbox in a bag, and they gather it when they deliver your mail. Great idea!!

A few years ago, my family wouldn't have had a Thanksgiving a couple years in a row if it weren't for the help of the Salvation Army. We are very frugal, but times are hard, and people's paychecks simply don't stretch far enough sometimes, especially for a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. They were very generous-even provided the turkey and bread! Thank you all who give!

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper2 years ago