How Can We Help Our Local Food Banks?
Mountain Backpacks Program
Mountain Backpacks Program - Food assistance for students in Jefferson and Clear Creek County schools.
Food Insecurity is rising due to the economic consequences of Covid-19. This last year, over 13 million households with children under 18 reported not having enough to eat. Your donation will go towards purchasing food for our student "pantries". These pantries are open to any child who is hungry. School day snacks and take home meals will be available giving children direct access to the food they need. Thank you for helping to kids full and focused. https://www.mountainbackpacks.org/
Donate Food - Shop Online - It's Easy! Shop Online at amazon.com using our wish list for the food items.
Donate Money - https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/MountainBackpacks
If you'd like to join our all-volunteer team, please contact Janet at [email protected]
Evergreen Christian Outreach
Your food and financial gifts, both large and small, will help us to achieve our mission of assisting people in our community with their basic and urgent needs and to help them realize their potential on a path to self-sufficiency. Thank you in advance for your generous support that allows us to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people and their families each year. http://evergreenchristianoutreach.org/
Donate Money - Colorado Gives ECHO
Mountain Resource Center
Mountain Resource Center is a nonprofit, community-based organization that delivers high quality, integrated health and human services within a 1000 square mile rural mountain area. Serving a population of over 65,000 in West Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Park counties, Mountain Resource Center provides a single point of entry to connect clients with a range of services. https://mrcco.networkforgood.com/
Life Bridge Food Pantry, Bailey
BRIDGING THE GAP DURING DIFFICULT TIMES… SHOWING GOD’S LOVE AND COMPASSION BY PROVIDING FOOD, SERVICES AND FIREWOOD TO THOSE IN NEED.
Donate Food - http://www.lifebridgeco.org/food-donations/
Donate Money - http://www.lifebridgeco.org/financial-donations/
WHAT FOOD BANKS NEED MOST (AND WHAT THEY CAN’T USE)
Food banks can make the most out of cash donations but if you want to donate food, this is what food banks across the country need most:
WHAT FOOD BANKS NEED MOST
- Soups, especially hearty meals like chili or stew
- Canned meat: chicken, tuna, ham, Vienna sausages
- Canned vegetables: potatoes, collard greens, beans, carrots, spinach or peas
- Canned fruit and individual fruit cups
- Spaghetti and marinara sauce
- Instant food mixes that only require water: mashed potatoes, biscuit mixes, instant oatmeal
- Shelf stable milk and alternatives (rice, soy, etc.)
- Heat and serve macaroni & cheese
- Healthy cereal
- Peanut butter or other nut butter, especially crunchy
- Pudding (non-refrigerated)
- Pop Tarts
- Spices like cinnamon, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
- Chips and crackers: Cheez-Its, graham crackers, animal crackers, peanut butter or cheese crackers
- Bags of apples or potatoes
- Snack items for kids to take to school: juice boxes, applesauce containers, granola bars
- For infants: formula, infant cereal, diapers, and wipes
- Toiletries: toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, Chapstick
- Feminine hygiene products: unscented pads will be most universally used, not tampons
WHAT FOOD BANKS CANNOT USE
- Anything that has to be refrigerated
- Homemade food
- Glass or plastic jars of baby food
- Expired food
- Food without a label
- Food or packaging that’s falling apart or damaged
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT FOOD BANKS
- Many food banks and pantries have access to lower cost supplies than you or I do so a cash donation may go further, plus they’re able to get exactly what they need.
- A lot of people have diabetes in this group. Consider low-sugar dietary restrictions.
- Some food banks have a recording (or a live person) who will explain their top needs of the moment by phone.
- Cans and boxes are sturdier than bags. By the time families are receiving the food, it’s been handled A LOT and packaging needs to be strong enough to hold up. One food bank said never bring anything in glass, ever.
- Pop-top cans are ideal; particularly for those living on the streets.
- Consider donating reusable sturdy shopping bags. Supplies are heavy plus it takes a lot of humility to come to a food bank. Since they’ll likely be walking home or taking public transportation, it’s nice to at least blend in.
- Think about weekends and school breaks. Kids who qualify for free lunches typically receive breakfast at school too and when schools are out for holidays or summer, these families need more support.
- Many families are in crisis at this time in their lives and food banks often work in tandem with churches or other non-profit programs to get them back on their feet.
These are the top priorities for the food banks I spoke with in my area. But there are still plenty of other things to give–and keep in mind what’s needed here might vary from your area, and definitely from season to season.
Things to think about
1. Everyone donates Kraft Mac and Cheese in the box. They can rarely use it because it needs milk and butter which is hard to get from regular food banks.
2. Boxed milk is a treasure, as kids need it for cereal which they also get a lot of.
3. Everyone donates pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles.
4. They cannot eat all the awesome canned veggies and soup unless you put a can opener in too or buy pop tops.
5. Oil is a luxury but needed for Rice a-Roni which they also get a lot of.
6. Spices or salt and pepper would be a real Christmas gift.
7. Tea bags and coffee make them feel like you care.
8. Sugar and flour are treats.
9. They fawn over fresh produce donated by farmers and grocery stores.
10. Seeds are cool in Spring and Summer because growing can be easy for some.
11. They rarely get fresh meat.
12. Tuna and crackers make a good lunch.
13. Hamburger Helper goes nowhere without ground beef.
14. They get lots of peanut butter and jelly but usually not sandwich bread.
15. Butter or margarine is nice too.
16. Eggs are a real commodity.
17. Cake mix and frosting makes it possible to make a child’s birthday cake.
18. Dishwashing detergent is very expensive and is always appreciated.
19. Feminine hygiene products are a luxury and women will cry over that.
20. Everyone loves Stove Top Stuffing.