Thanksgiving day is on its way! That means it's the perfect time of year to help local food pantries. Here is a list of 60 Thanksgiving Non-Perishable items all food banks would happily accept.
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Why Donate Food to Food Banks?
I want to teach my children to think outside of our own circle and consider the local families around us who are in need. This year with inflation rising in the United States it's a real likelihood that people in homes next to you won't get a Thanksgiving feast for Thanksgiving dinner.
Beyond personalizing the realism of food needs around us, there is a high demand at every local food pantry during the holidays. It's a struggle during this time of year, which feels so much worse somehow, and you should never have to worry about basic needs and food insecurity.
This holiday season is a great time to take the opportunity to start a new tradition in your family by showing your children the blessing of giving.
Here is a List of Items to Donate to a Local Food Bank This Year
These items are so easy to add to your cart while you're already grocery shopping. So, the next time you run to the store for last-minute ingredients put this list in your purse to remind you.
Non-Perishable Foods List
Non-Perishable means it has an extended shelf-life. Will not quickly or easily spoil, which means perfect for stocking shelves at a local food bank.
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- Cranberry Sauce
- Green Beans
- Pumpkin Pie Mix
- Canned Pie Fillings
- Cream of Mushroom Soup and other soups
- Canned Meats chicken, Tuna, and Salmon
- Canned Beans all of them
- Canned Tomatoes
- Cake Mix
- Brownie Mix
- Corn Bread Mix
- Stuffing Mix
- Pie Crust Mix
- Dry Macaroni and other noodles
- Graham Crackers soda crackers, butter crackers, oyster crackers, etc.
- Instant Coffee + Creamer Packets
- Mashed Potatoes + Gravy Packets
- Granola & Granola Bars
- Pancake Mix
- Rice, Quinoa
- Whole Grains
- Hot Cocoa and Apple Cider Packets, Tea Bags
- French Fried Onions
- Sugar powdered, granulated, and brown (dark and light)
- Dried Beans and Lentils
- Dried Cereals
- Boxes of Jello and Pudding Mix
- Ramen Noodle Packets
- Cream of Wheat
- Bread Crumbs and Panko
- Dried Spices Garlic, Onion, Parsley, Salt + Pepper, Basil, Oregano, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, & Cloves
Additional Items with Extended Life
- Peanut Butter + Jelly
- Maple Syrup
- Chicken Stock, Beef Stock, Vegetable Stock
- Chicken Bone Broth & Beef Bone Broth
- Soy Sauce
- Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Oil
- Canned Cheese Spray
- Vanilla Extract, Almond Extract
Perishable Foods List
- Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie
- Frozen Turkey
- Fresh Produce and other healthy food items
Put Together Your Own Thanksgiving Baskets
You can include any combination of the things listed, or make a basket with an entire holiday meal. There are amazing organizations, churches, and charities, that put together a box of food that are complete Thanksgiving meals. And of course including the turkey, because it wouldn't be a complete meal without the Thanksgiving turkey!
One of the best traditions you can start this year is putting together a care package for someone you love in need or a stranger in your community in need.
What Other Ways Can We Help Beyond Food Donations?
Non-perishable food donations are amazing, but they aren't the only need.
- Monetary Donations Cash is King, after all.
- Gift Cards Grocery Gift Cards, Cash Cards, etc
- Basic Necessities Warm Blankets, Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Coats, and Socks
Also, consider starting a virtual Thanksgiving food drive where friends and family can share on social media and donate at their convenience.
What Are Some Items I Should Not Donate?
The best rule of thumb is to think would I want to receive this when you're gifting anything to anyone. However, there are a few other things to keep in mind when considering donations.
- Anything in glass containers. Though glass typically seems like a "nicer" gift, it is fragile and if broken would spoil other things.
- Anything already opened. For obvious reasons of contamination, the chance of spoilage, and insect issues.
- Expired Items. Please always check the expiration date before you make a donation. We want to give our best to others, not inedible leftovers.
What Are Non Perishable Foods for Thanksgiving?
Non-Perishable Foods are in essence foods that can sit on a shelf for extended periods of time without spoiling. They have a long shelf life and have the ability to survive without electricity. Foods like boxed mixes, canned goods, and dried foods, are great examples.
What Do You Put in a Thanksgiving Food Box?
Some good options for non-perishable food items to include in a Thanksgiving Food Box would be:
- Boxed Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Packets
- A box of Stuffing
- A can of Corn, Yams, Cranberries, and Green Beans
- A Pumpkin or Apple pie
- Apple Cider Packets or Bags of Tea
- Shelf-Stable Almond, Coconut, Rice, or Soy Milk
- Canned Soups
- A box of Cornbread Mix
A few other helpful items to include might be a warm fleece blanket, mittens, scarves, socks, and hats, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, personal care products, games like Uno, Go Fish and Scrabble. And last but not least, gift cards to grocery stores.
What Are the Most Needed Non Perishable Food Items?
Some of the most useful non-perishable foods to donate would be Canned protein (tuna, salmon, and chicken), Canned Soups (Stew, Broth, and Pasta Sauce), Packaged Foods (Seeds, Nuts, Oats, Granola, Rice, Quinoa, Beans, Pasta), Plastic Jar Foods (Nut/Seed Butters, Jelly, Cooking Oil).
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope I have inspired you to start this tradition this year, either with your kids and family or just by yourself! We each, even one person, can make a huge difference in our communities.
Hi, I'm Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→