3 Ways To Help Feed The Hungry


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Throughout the final weekend of November 2014, Barefeet In The Kitchen will be matching all donations made to our Virtual Food Drive and we will also donate $1 to Feeding America for every comment left on this blog post, up to a maximum donation of $500.

As we sit down to tables overflowing with food to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, I’m reminded that for many people, the struggle to put food on the table is part of everyday life. When I was growing up, a gift of food was the best thing you could have given us. Church groups, food pantries, the kindness of friends and strangers, all of these things contributed to a childhood that I never understood to be lacking.

Sack Lunches for the Homeless are a great way to help feed the hungry and I love that my kids are able to participate this way. I challenge you today to look around your town and find a way to help. A smile, a conversation, a simple gift of a bottle of water and a granola bar might be enough to make a difference in someone’s day.

3 Ways to Help Feed the Hungry (in your community)

If you prefer to donate foods in person, to a local food pantry, here’s a link to help you find the location nearest to you.

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Food Pantries will not distribute foods with dented, damaged, or opened packaging. Please check the expiration dates on your foods and make sure that nothing has expired. Any damaged or past expiration products will be discarded.

If you have a local food bank and are able to donate there, here’s a list of items that are always appreciated and a few tips that will help make the most of your gift:

Canned meats: chicken, tuna, and salmon
Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned beans
Canned (preferably not jarred) spaghetti sauces
Dry pastas: spaghetti, elbow, egg noodles, etc
Dry beans
Rice, any varieties
Canned nuts
Shelf-stable milk
Canned soups, stews, and chilis
Oatmeal and lower-sugar cereals
Powdered milk
Peanut butter
Jams and jellies (preferably in plastic, not glass jars)
Oils: olive, vegetable, canola
Condiments: mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup
Personal hygiene products

Baby products: diapers, wipes, formula

Keep in mind that large organizations can get much better deals on food than we can. A $10 donation to Feeding America will purchase 100 meals! While it may feel different from helping your local pantry, you are still doing that. Feeding America supplies food for the pantry nearest to my own home and likely provides food for a shelter or food pantry in your community as well.
3 Simple Ways to Help Feed the Hungry

Are you looking for more ways to spread some holiday cheer? Check out this post for 35 Acts of Kindness that just might brighten someone else’s day.

From the depth of my heart, I thank you all for being the amazing group of people that you are. You have already done so much to help feed the hungry this holiday season. Thank you for being here, thank you for reading, sharing, and participating with so much generosity. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. vivian says

    Mary, you are doing such a good thing by bringing information and awareness, as well as a generous offer of donation to the issue of hunger. I volunteer at a food bank in my hometown in Canada, and appreciate the information you supplied, particularly about open and expired foods. I can offer a few other suggestions that may appeal to people wanting to help. During the gardening season, plant some extras of the fruits and vegetables you are growing for your own family to donate to your local food bank. Fresh produce is always appreciated. Food banks sometimes also have clothing banks and/or household goods banks associated with them. Items like warm coats, boots, mittens and hats that are in good condition are particularly appreciated at this time of year in cold climates. When you're decluttering, look at what you don't need or want any more, and donate it if you think someone else can use it. Families that are finished having babies can donate baby items that would make someone else's day. Again, thank you for doing this.

  2. Anonymous says

    I love the idea of keeping sack lunches in the car and I'm going to make some up. Last year my friend's church had a dinner on Christmas day for any homeless that wanted to come. I think there were about 100. Besides a wonderful dinner with live carols, they got to choose 2 things that were donated — one clothing item and one gift card (for food). In talking with them, in response to my question they said they love to get gift cards, especially from the grocery store. I can't afford too much, but that stuck with me. I didn't want to get into the madness of the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving so I got a few $10 McDonald's gift cards. We have several around that are open 24 hours a day, so I thought that they could not only get something to eat but a warm place to be if they don't make it to the shelter in time to get in.

  3. JudyKing68 says

    What great ideas! I often see people with signs needing food on roads and at intersections. When I could, I got food and took it back to them, but if you're running late for an appointment you don't have time. Also a time or two, the person was gone when I got back. But if I had sack lunches and gift cards with me I would always be able to help! My church supports a local food bank, which is wonderful, but I worry about the street people. I don't know if they are able to take advantage of it. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  4. Gabrielle says

    This is a super old post but I stumbled upon it on Pinterest and just wanted to say that you’ve inspired me to start a grassroots effort to make a bigger impact in our community!