Give Thanks and Donate

November 23, 2012

Are you looking to donate to your local food bank or shelter? Here are SupermarketGuru's tips on what to give

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; here are some criteria you may want to think about in particular when donating items. Of course all donations are appreciated.

Some of the most desired items include:
Water, juice boxes
Peanut butter
Baby food and formula
Shelf-stable milk
Canned food items
Proteins (tuna, chicken, salmon, sardines, ham)
Cereal, granola/breakfast bars, trail mix, dried fruit
Personal hygiene products

When considering what products to bring or purchase choose those that you would serve to your family.
Some tips to follow include:

Juice boxes: look for those that contain 100% juice
Peanut 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).
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 are always welcomed.

And remember, 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.

Criteria above gathered from NYC Food Standards.