Help #CanHunger this Holiday Season

CannedFoodsEach year, right before Thanksgiving, confirmation students in our local community conduct a food drive. Last Wednesday night 472 items were collected for the Franklin County Food Pantry!

I’m pleased to say that our family donated to the local food drive. But if I would have known then what I know now, our donations would have been different. First of all, I would have included some toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant and bar soap, plus paper products and garbage bags as these items cannot be purchased with food stamps.

Secondly, I would have made sure my donated items contained more ready-to-go meals like beef stew and chili with meat. I also would have included a box of crackers along with instant soup packets. Finally, I would have donated canned potatoes, carrots and peas because green beans are most often donated. I also would have donated canned fruit other than pineapple, which is most commonly donated.

“We surveyed food banks and the items we found to be most in demand are: canned chicken and canned tuna, peanut butter, soup, boxed meals, pasta, canned veggies and canned fruit,” says Lindsey Haley, Operations Manager for the Iowa Food Bank Association.

If you plan to donate food items to your local food bank, please:

    • Choose boxes (rice, potatoes, macaroni, etc.) as bags of food can tear easily.
    • Donate low-sugar cereal like plain Cheerios or Raisin Bran.
    • Purchase instant meals like oatmeal or biscuit mix that only require water because they’re easier to make.
    • Know that cans, cartons or boxes of powered and evaporated milk are always needed.
    • Remember that juice boxes, applesauce containers and granola bars make great snacks for kids.

“The best donation a person can make is a cash donation as the food banks can purchase approximately 4 meals for every $1 that’s donated,” adds Haley.

Because $1 can make such a big difference, I’m making a monetary donation this week to help fight hunger. Are you up for the challenge?

The Murphy family from Johnston, Iowa, has issued an open invitation to the #CanHunger challenge, which includes donating to or to your local food bank. Iowa Girl Eats Kristin Porter and many North Iowa Bloggers have accepted the challenge. You can, too!

Sign a canned food item, donate it to your local food bank, and then challenge three of your friends to do the same. Use the hashtag(#) and see how we can all help make a difference. #CanHunger this holiday season!