We survived another year-end inventory which always gives us a bigger view of our needs. We always need the basic items from our list in the right-hand column. So, I would like to explain why we need some of the “other” type of items.
At the pantry, we encourage people to eat healthier. What can be more healthy than baking your own food (so you know what’s in it)? It also costs less in the long run. But that’s kind of hard to do when you spend your food stamps on the staple items and don’t have any money left to purchase those baking ingredients. Donations of yeast, all-purpose flour, bread flour, baking soda, baking powder, baking cocoa, brown sugar, confectionary sugar, sugar will help people to bake biscuits, bread, birthday cakes, etc. I have a lot of bakers and cooks that come to our pantry and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to bake again!
We receive frozen meat from Walmart through an NH Food Bank program called Fresh Rescue. It’s great to give our patrons ground beef and other meats. Through Fresh Rescue, we also sometimes receive lettuce for salads. Canned tuna is another favorite of people that come to the pantry. My point? We give out these items and very seldom do we have ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise or salad dressing to go with them. I don’t know about you, but eating dry tuna doesn’t really appeal to me. So donations of these items would be great as well!
Now let’s discuss water. Bottled water leaves this pantry as fast as we receive it. For some, taking water is not really a choice. The water they have at home is not always drinkable. For them, purchasing water is necessary but seldom happens because food takes priority. Our diabetics need water because juices have too much sugar in them. I also find that a lot of the children would prefer water over juice. (Can’t get much healthier than that.) So it’s another good thing to donate!
When donating food, please remember that size does matter. A lot of our single households enjoy the use of small items (around 8 oz size). For them, there is less waste. Our 2 – 4 household sizes get the best use out of 15 – 16 oz items. Our 5 – 11 household size loves the large items (fewer items to open to make one meal). Please keep in mind that the majority of the people that come to the pantry are in the 1 – 4 household size range.