As summertime approaches, your donations to the food bank mean more to local families facing hunger than ever. Food donations decline dramatically during the busy summer months- but you can help!
Whether you are looking for a fun summer project for the kids or a simple way to make a difference this summer, shopping for and donating much-needed food items is fun, easy and educational. Here’s a “Hunger Hero Shopping List” filled with items that will provide convenient and healthy nutrition to families in need:
1. Canned fish and meats. Canned salmon, tuna, and chicken are high in protein and are basic building block for nutritious meals…think chicken salad, tuna with pasta and peas, etc.
2. Peanut butter/ nut butters. These are great sources of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They are also convenient to use for sandwiches-making or snacking, making them a great option for the hardworking families we serve.
3. Healthy packaged soups. Look for low-sodium, natural brands of canned soup or stew. A few cans of stew make a healthy, complete meal for families with limited resources.
4. Whole- or multi-grain breakfast cereals. You can help kids in need start their day right by donating tasty but healthy cereals- oatmeal is a great option too! Nutrient-rich whole grains provide fiber and keep little tummies full.
5. Canned or dried beans. These are another great source of protein and fiber, and can be used in a wide variety of ways.
6. Pasta sauce. Marinara sauce can be combined with a package of dry pasta or canned meat & veggies for a quick, healthy meal.
7. Shelf-stable milk. Powdered milk (dry), boxed milk, or even canned evaporated skim milk provide much-needed calcium and protein and replace other less-healthy beverage choices.
8. Whole-grain pasta. Pasta is a versatile family favorite that stretches to feed a lot of bellies- and the whole-grain variety packs a great nutritional punch!
9. Rice and other grains. Quinoa, barley, wild or brown rice, and other nutrient-rich grains provide fiber, protein and important vitamins. They’re also easy to cook alongside beans for a satisfying, balanced meal.
10. Canned vegetables. Though they don’t taste exactly like fresh, canned veggies are an important source of nutrition when fresh veggies and fruits are not available. Look for low-sodium vegetables and low-sugar fruits.
As a rule of thumb, think about what you would like to eat or serve your own family and you can’t go wrong. Or if you want to make a difference right now, donate here to provide nutritious food to families in need this summer. Every dollar you donate provides $9 worth of food to a family just like yours!