Help Us Alleviate Hunger Ahead of the Holidays
Families across the United States will come together to share company and celebrate holidays with one another in the coming weeks. For many of us, that includes a Thanksgiving gathering that centers around a table filled with turkey, stuffing, and other hearty sides.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 34 million people — including roughly 9 million children — were considered to be food insecure last year. This can make it difficult to fulfill day-to-day needs, and nearly impossible to prepare a traditional holiday meal.
Food banks provide an excellent opportunity to help your community close that gap. Here’s how to get involved:
Finding a food bank
The first step to get involved is finding your local food bank, shelf, or pantry. There are several tools you can use to find one nearby:
- Feeding America food bank search tool
- Find food support through Google Maps
- Other programs designed to alleviate hunger
None of these tools are exhaustive resources for food banks and it may be important to compare results between searches. It may also be important to review a specific food bank’s donation guidelines to confirm operating hours, high-need items, and other suggestions.
What to give
Ideal donations generally depend on the season and region your food bank is in. Healthy, non-perishable items are almost always in need. That includes:
- Canned proteins (tuna, salmon)
- Baking staples
- Peanut butter
- Cereals and oatmeal
- Canned meals
- Pasta, pasta sauce
- Ready-to-eat snacks that are kid-friendly
Many organizations will also accept boxes of diapers or formula to assist people with young children. New, sealed toiletry items like toothbrushes, shampoo, and deodorant are typically accepted but it’s always a good idea to check with your local donation center.
Nearly all centers will accept monetary donations that can be used to support the cost of facilities, events, and other expenses.
What to avoid donating
Most groups accepting donations will recommend that you avoid highly-perishable items like fresh produce and meats, among other items.
Organizers with Feeding America also recommend that donators avoid bringing frozen turkeys due to a number of concerns including food safety, limited storage space, and cost. There are a variety of exceptions to this rule, including some local turkey-specific drives, so it’s best to check with your local donation center to ensure your donation meets their requirements.
It should go without saying, but expired or damaged food items should not be donated to food centers.
How Instrumart is doing its part
Our team takes great pride in making annual donations to Feeding Chittenden, a local food bank in Burlington, Vermont. Instrumart believes there is a responsibility to care for our community stemming from one main operating principle: do the right thing.
In 2022, Instrumart employees combined with a company match to raise more than $7,100 for Feeding Chittenden. Our office also donated several hundred pounds of non-perishable food and toiletries to the drop-off center prior to Thanksgiving in an effort to close the hunger gap locally.