It’s always a good time to give back to the community, but with Giving Hearts Day around the corner some might be more driven to do what they can. We talked to Great Plains Food Bank, North Dakota’s only food bank, to see what donation items may be needed in our communities.
Jared Slinde, communications manager at Great Plains Food Bank, explained that over time the food bank has shifted its model from giving the communities food, to giving the communities nutritional and healthy food. But they don’t just work to reduce food insecurity, they also take donations for household and hygiene products—which are always highly appreciated. We created a guide to help you donate in the best way possible for our community.
1. High protein items
Peanut butter, canned meats and even soups and chili can provide necessary protein.
2. Boxed meals, cereals, grains
Rice, pasta and instant potatoes are filling and great non-perishable items.
Canned fruits and vegetables are common donations. If you garden and find you have a few extra peppers or potatoes than you planned, Great Plains Food Bank will take those as well. They have worked to increase the amount of fresh produce available.
36% of the food they distribute is fresh produce.
4. Paper products and cleaning supplies
These are easy, non-food items to donate, and they can go a long way.
Great Plains Food Bank works with different businesses and the public to take in excess food and get it to different food pantries and programs to ensure it’s distributed to those in need.
There are other ways to help. You hear it often, volunteer. Jared explained that they can accommodate many types of groups who volunteer at their Fargo warehouse. Whereas some places can’t work with a 3-year-old volunteer, the food bank can take very young volunteers and the kids can do great work. Finally, monetary donations will always be helpful to nonprofit organizations like the Great Plains Food Bank.
Learn more about ways to help at greatplainsfoodbank.org, and consider supporting the food bank as part of this year’s Giving Hearts Day.
Diapers are essential and, unfortunately, costly. Jared explained that diapers “go like hotcakes” from the warehouse and are always, ALWAYS a great thing to donate. In saying that, the food bank cannot accept baby food or formula.
6. Personal hygiene products
Products like shampoo, soap, shaving cream, etc. are always needed, they must be unopened and separate from food donations.
7. Avoid glass
Your donations should be in non-glass containers in order to help keep the volunteers safe.
8. Think outside the box
Think about things that you would need, according to Jared, the food bank will find a home for a lot of different things. He even said the food bank will take leftover Halloween candy—no matter who you are, a piece of candy can bring a smile to your face.