What to Donate

Having a hard time deciding what foods you should donate to your local food bank? Here are some guidelines that may help you out.

  • Donate foods that your family likes. Chances are other families like those foods too.
  • Include healthier choices that are lower in fat, salt, or that are higher in fibre.
  • For children, donate non-perishable snack and lunch foods that are easy and safe to transport to school (fruit cups, unsweetened apple sauce, granola bars, cereal, crackers, and dried fruit such as raisins).
  • Donate foods that contribute to healthy eating: grain products, vegetables and fruits, milk products, meats and meat alternatives such as peanut butter, baked beans or other legumes.

Always check with your local food bank before donating perishable foods.

Grain Products
Choose whole grain items and brands that are lower in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Rice, converted or parboiled
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Whole wheat pasta
Vegetables and Fruit
Include some dark green and orange choices with little or no added fat, sugar, or salt.
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit and 100% juices
  • Tomato/ pasta sauces
  • Vegetable soups
Milk and Alternatives
Low fat milk or fortified soy beverages is needed daily
  • Dry powdered milk
  • UHT “tetra pack” milk or fortified soy beverage
  • Evaporated milk, skim, 1%, 2%
  • Custard and pudding mix
Meat and Alternatives
Choose lean meat products, fish, and alternative prepared with little or no added fat or salt.
  • Canned salmon and tuna
  • Canned meat and stews
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned baked beans

Other helpful items

  • Baking supplies (flour, sugar)
  • Condiments (mustard, ketchup)
  • Jam
  • Coffee/tea
  • Salad dressings
  • Cooking oils
  • Baby food and infant cereals
  • Toothpaste, brushes, dental floss
  • Money/gift cards
  • Personal hygiene products

What NOT to donate

  • Any perishable food that has not been pasteurized (e.g. honey, milk, cider) or that comes from an un-inspected premise (homemade sausage)
  • Foods that have been exposed to any possible sources of contamination (insect, rodent, chemical)
  • Home canned foods
  • Damaged store-bought canned foods (dented, label off)
  • Food items that are out of date
  • Open boxes or cans of food

If you have a question please call us at 519.482.3416 or toll-free at 1.877.837.6143.  Ask to speak to a member of the Community Health team. You may also call the individual food bank.