The holiday season is a time for giving and sharing, which means that this time of year is the perfect opportunity to donate to your local food bank. It’s important to give back at any time of year, but especially around Christmas so everyone can have a happy holiday! If you’re looking for a way to spread some cheer this month, consider donating at least one item or dollar from each grocery purchase you make during December.

person holding clear plastic container
Photo by Julia M Cameron on

In the spirit of giving, you may be wondering what food items to donate to your local food bank this Christmas. When choosing items to donate I find purchasing items that I would eat myself is a way to make sure im donating healthier options. All donations matter. With that being said, if you can afford to spend a little extra try to opt for organic, non gmo items! But, like I said, all donations matter, everything counts. So without further a due, here is a list of items you can add to your shopping cart to donate this holiday season.

  1. Applesauce
  2. Cereal
  3. Canned Tuna
  4. Granola Bars
  5. Protein bars
  6. Peanut butter or other nut butters
  7. Pancake mix
  8. Whole grain items such as oats, quinoa, or brown rice
  9. Tomato sauce
  10. Canned tomatoes
  11. Pasta
  12. Low-sodium vegetable soups
  13. Dried fruits, no sugar added
  14. Canned fruits
  15. Canned vegetables
  16. Nuts & trail mixes
  17. Crackers or melba toast
  18. Jams & spreads
  19. Dried herbs & spices
  20. 100% Fruit Drinks
  21. Non dairy Shelf Stable Milks ( ie: almond milk, coconut milk..etc)
  22. Pickles
  23. Olives
  24. Salsa
  25. Coffee and tea

Holiday Foods

  • Stuffing mix
  • Box instant potatoes
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Canned carrots, peas and beans
  • Powdered hot chocolate
  • Marshmellows
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Candy Canes
  • Gingerbread house kit

Other items to donate

  • Toiletries – deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes
  • Household items – laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, paper towel..etc
  • Feminine products – sanitary towels and tampons
  • Baby supplies – nappies, baby wipes and baby food (but not formula milk)
  • Hats, Mitts, socks, etc
  • Toys

Avoid donating these foods

There are many other foods you can donate to the food bank, but here are a few that you should avoid giving:

  • Alcohol
  • Opened packages
  • Expired food
  • Homemade food
  • Junk food
  • items with glass or cellophane packaging, which can be broken in transit
  • things that need can openers or special equipment (pop-top cans–whether for veggies, meat or fruit–are a plus)

Lastly, donating cash is always a great way to give to the food bank. Cash donations allow the food bank to purchase fresh, organic produce to give to food bank consumers. Plus, food bank dollars can have a higher purchasing power than our own money, since they can receive wholesale prices from different suppliers.

We all deserve to enjoy the holidays! Your donations will go so much farther than any other kind of present because they provide sustenance for families who may not have enough otherwise. Thank you in advance for doing something good for someone else this holiday season!

selective focus photo of christmas tree

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