While fresh foods are an important part of the food we provide, non-perishables are also needed and easy for you to donate. In addition to annual food drives like Stamp Out Hunger, you can donate food year-long at select locations across Central Texas and at our headquarters. We can make the most of your non-perishable food donation when you consider three things: nutrition, usefulness, and quality vs. quantity.
We aim to provide your neighbors with the healthiest food possible. Here is an expanded list of healthy non-perishable foods you can donate.
- Canned fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines
- Canned meats, such as chicken and turkey
- Whole grains, such as quinoa and spelt
- Rice (brown, wild)
- Steel-cut or rolled oats
- Whole grain dry cereals with at least 5 grams fiber/serving
- Whole grain pastas, such as whole wheat, brown rice flour or quinoa
- Fruits in natural juice with no sugar added
- Canned vegetables, low salt or no added salt
- Canned fruit packed in water versus syrup
- Canned or boxed low-sodium soups and stews
- Dried or canned legumes, such as peas, lentils, peanuts and beans
- Pureed foods, such as sweet potato, pumpkin and applesauce
- Low-fat dry or shelf-stable milk
- Nut butters, including peanut, almond, walnut
Other great things to donate that can stretch our clients' food budget:
- Dried herbs and spices and no-salt spice blends
- Popcorn kernels
- Dried fruits (preferably no added sugar), such as prunes, mangoes, apricots and raisins
- Granola, muesli
- Shelf-stable milk alternatives such as soy, almond, rice
- Seeds, such as sesame, sunflower or pumpkin
- Healthy oils, such as olive and grape seed
- Green, white and herbal tea
- Plain, unsalted nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans
- Natural sweeteners, such as honey
- 100 percent fruit juice
While we encourage you to give what you can, it’s most beneficial for us to provide our clients with food they can use. Consider donating food with pop-top lids for our clients who may have difficulty opening cans with a can opener.
Many of our clients are children. You can support their healthy food habits by donating food in kid-friendly sizes with easy-to-open packaging and no-cook food items.
There are items we cannot distribute such as alcohol of any kind, home-canned goods, or food where the ingredients are not available in English. Remember, if that canned item has been sitting in the back of your pantry for an unknown amount of time, dented, or damaged in any way, it’s probably best to leave that donation at home, or throw it out.
Quality vs. Quantity
We encourage you to give the best food possible, but also realize you have a budget. If you can afford to donate organic items, great. If not, that’s OK, too. Every donation makes a difference. What's most important is that we all come together to help our neighbors.