13 Best Grocery Items to Donate Today

As we approach Thanksgiving, many organizations will be kicking up their efforts to feed the hungry, and it's important for retailers and their shoppers to know what are the best items to donate.

November 3, 2017

Thanksgiving is a day when we reflect on the many things we are thankful for, and we can’t forget to give back to our communities. The holidays are a big time to donate food and other goods; Ruthi Solari, founder and executive director of SuperFood Drive points out that, "About 40 percent of those who go to food pantries already have one person at home with diagnosed diabetes, usually type 2. That number does not include those who might have pre-diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes." So making sure the foods we donate are nutrient-dense, non-perishable super foods is key.

When considering what products to bring or purchase choose those that you would serve to your family. Here are some criteria gathered form Super Food Drive and NYC Food Standards to guide your donations. Of course all donations are appreciated. 

  • Water
  • Juice boxes: look for those that contain 100% juice
  • Nut butter: read labels and look for those with no added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients and added oils.
  • Canned food items: should be packed in water or the natural juices of the fruit or vegetable - added sugars, syrups and excessive sodium should be avoided. Look for those that contain less than 290 mg sodium per serving (same tip for canned proteins and soups).
  • Canned tuna, salmon, sardines.
  • Lentils and other beans.
  • Cereals and granolas: look for those that contain less than 215 mg sodium per serving, less than 10 grams of sugar per serving, and greater than 2 grams of fiber.
  • Breads, crackers, and other grains: look for whole wheat/whole grain sliced sandwich bread that contains 180 mg sodium per serving, and greater than 2 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Other baked goods (e.g. dinner rolls, muffins, bagels, tortillas) should contain less than 290 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Whole grain pastas, whole grain baked goods and brown rice, whole oats (instead of pre-packaged, pre-flavored oatmeal), quinoa, amaranth, couscous, are always welcomed.
  • Spices
  • Baby food and formula
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Diapers 

Keep in mind, the holiday season isn’t the only time for giving, whether it’s a food drive, direct donations, monetary gifts, or giving to a charitable organization that has ties to the food industry and can link surplus food to emergency food providers, all types of year-round giving are encouraged.

SupermarketGuru wants to thank your for your generosity and continued readership.

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