Redditors who work at food banks, what is best to donate, what do you always need?

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

I volunteer to food banks that also donate essential things. That we always need : Pads and tampons. We always lack those. And Diapers. Both for babies, and for older people. Also cleaning products. If they have a home, they need things to clean it, if only to feel better in it. When it comes to food what we often lack is things that can be eaten cold or don’t need preparation. Too many people live in their cars or in the street. They don’t have access to pans, stove, microwaves, anything you’d find in a kitchen really. We could also do with more things for single people. Family-size is great for families. But for people who are alone, it means that once open it will either go to waste or more likely have someone eat something that had gone bad. We do still need the usual food, family-size things etc etc. But we ran out of what I have listed more often than other stuff.

Marawal

Cash. They can get items for cheaper than consumers. I worked in a combo food shelf/home goods shelf and underwear, socks, and hygiene items like deodorant were very popular. Also, pet food!

tomtenisse1

In order of preference; 1. Cash, since the buying power of the foodbank is greater than what you can give. Sometimes by a factor of 2-3. 2. Hygiene Items. Depending on what your regional food bank is, many of the regional ones only have food, so any type of hygiene items (especially feminine products) is a huge help. 3. Paper and cleaning products (soap, laundry detergent). These are not often considered necessary items, but not having to pay for them frees up a lot of money for someone who is having a hard time. 4. Your time. Most foodbanks have dedicated volunteers who are familiar with the processes and the people going to the food bank. If you are going to go once, do what you are told and otherwise keep out of the way. Becoming a regular volunteer is better.

laztheinfamous

Not exactly what OP was asking but I was a frequent volunteer at food banks. They would always tell us that whatever we donate, remember to donate during the spring and summer. Hunger still continues beyond the holiday season

Truegold43

Just volunteered last week! One item they needed more if was things ready to eat right out of the package because they send those to the schools for lunch assistance programs. I mean you could hand a kid a box of dry macaroni, but they’d have no way to cook it there.

BellerophonSkydiving