Since the Summer of 2011 we have been promoting a balanced MyPlate diet for our families, student and clients. We want to remind folks to think healthy when they are making a food shelf donations too. We’ve heard stories of food shelves getting large donations of outdated or damaged food. Do everyone a favor and throw those out! Here are some ideas of what the food shelves need and want:
- Choose low-sodium options for beans, broth, soup, and vegetables.
- Choose low-fat or whole grain options for cereal, crackers, and pasta.
- Fresh garden produce is often welcome. (Just call in advance to make sure.)
- Single serving foods like fruit cups and 100% fruit juice boxes are easy and safe to pack for school lunches.
- Consider donating money. In Minnesota we heard about a food shelf that got a 40-pound box of meat for $4.80 –one dollar can buy seven pounds of healthy food from the Food Bank of CNY in New York.
From Austin, Texas we got a list of the most-requested items:
- Canned meats like tuna, stew and chili (pop-tops preferred)
- Canned vegetables
- Pasta & pasta sauce
- Healthy cereals
- Peanut butter
It’s a great time of year to give – just make sure you’re giving a gift that’s healthy and wanted!