The Canned Foods You SHOULD Be Donating This Holiday -- Surprised?

Rebecca Stokes This Just In

food bankWhile many of us are fortunate enough to be able to lavish gifts upon our friends and loved ones this season, others aren't so lucky. Forget fretting over their shopping lists, there are some people who have to contend with more basic issues this time of year. Like where they are going to get their next meal.

There are ways we can help those who run the risk of going hungry this year. One of the most common is the omnipresent canned good drive. Several organizations, from soup kitchens to churches, hold drives in a bid to collect canned goods and non-perishable items for the less fortunate. While any donation is appreciated, there are a few items that these places really need. What they are might surprise you.

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When you're going through your pantry, here are a couple of things to keep in mind. Instead of simply filling a belly, you're nurturing someone's health. Contributing a sense of wellness to a person in need is an even greater gift than just filling their plate.

To that end, organizations are always looking for canned vegetables that are low in sodium. Good-for-you protein like canned tuna is always in demand -- so is natural sources of good-fats like nut butters. They are also looking for whole grain cereals and breads versus the cheap white stuff.

Here's something worth reminding folks: Always check the expiration dates! I mean, we all know not to donate food that's passed its freshness threshold, but also check how many months a food in question has left. If a food is going to expire in a handful of months, hold off on donating. 

As a general rule -- the healthier, the better. If you wouldn't eat it, don't pass it on to someone else. Stuff that's chock-full of preservatives and salt doesn't make anyone feel better -- except for your now nominally more cleaned out pantry. AND PANTRIES DO NOT HAVE FEELINGS. Still looking for a way to rid your pantry of all those fats, sugars, and carbs? Give them to me. Because those are my three favorite food groups.

What organizations do you donate food to?

 

Image via USDAGov/Flickr

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