The best of intentions can get in the way of making a difference when there are 38 million hungry people in the United States. Many people and organizations will step up their fundraising efforts as the pandemic spreads. Many people are more inclined to donate money or food to those in need during the holiday season. Your extra dry goods or canned goods may seem like the best way you can help those in need. 

It is great to decide to donate food or money to food banks. The food bank can purchase the items it needs at a much lower price than community members can—the handling and storage of donated food results in additional expenses. A smaller cash donation could be more helpful to those in greatest need. However, if money is not an option, you could donate food.

How Should You Donate the Most-Needed Food Items?

Try to find out what’s most needed before donating food so that you can focus your goodwill. Food banks strive to make locating their most-wanted items as easy as possible. Check their website or social media for the best places to donate. Foods that you can store for an extended period are ideal.

When donating money or food to a food bank, it would be best to consider some things.

  • Choose your contributions wisely. Check out the food bank’s website to see what items they most urgently need and buy those. 
  • Instead of purchasing multiple flats of the same canned product, visit the food bank’s website to see which items they are in urgent need of and then buy them. For more information, you can call the food banks.
  • Be aware of the best time to give. Don’t forget to donate food at slower times so that food banks can continue to distribute food year-round for those in greatest need.

Which Is Better to Donate: Money or Canned Goods?

Donations of canned goods to food banks are rarely turned away. In the end, it contributes to their mission of feeding the less fortunate in the community. It does, however, create additional problems for food banks.

Fees associated with sorting, sifting, and storing the food are incurred. Unfortunately, there aren’t always enough people willing to pitch in to help sort through it all. As a result of having to store the food donations, there is an additional overhead cost.

Mismatched canned goods are another drawback of food donations. Most of the donated food comes in the form of canned goods high in sodium. Consequently, fresh produce, dairy products, and meats required by food banks’ clients for a healthy diet are frequently unavailable. For the food recipients, put together healthy, well-balanced meals using a random can of tuna, black beans, and peas.

Concerns about COVID-19 can also arise when it comes to eating. It’s not uncommon for food banks to have no idea where the food is coming from or if any residents have had the disease. As a result, food banks should employ fewer people to handle the donations.

Donating money to a food bank alleviates these worries. As a result of the lack of additional costs and the ability to purchase fresh food for their customers, COVID-19 is less likely to spread.

Is Donating Money Better Than Donating Canned Goods?

Donations of money or food can help go further in helping food banks. It’s not enough to rely on pre-packaged foods. For various reasons, food banks are in desperate need of financial assistance.

Obtain a Sufficient Supply of Food

Donating to a food bank is a great way to help those in need all year long. Most charitable giving occurs at the end of the year when people are generous because of the holiday season. Your money helps food banks purchase food when donations are less frequent.

Take Advantage of Wholesale Discounts

Food banks can also shop wholesale and get discounts to earn more for their dollar than people who shop retail. Foodbank buyers can often purchase food at wholesale prices or a negotiated price better than regular shoppers, who can only buy food from their local grocery store and then donate it.

Reduce Food Waste

Americans throw away more than 108 billion pounds of excellent food every year. As a result, food banks have direct involvement with farmers to ensure that healthy fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste are served to those in need. Food banks can purchase surplus produce from farmers, reducing waste and ensuring that your community is well-nourished.

Get Access to Healthier Food

Feeding people doesn’t mean providing food. It is about providing nutritious food for all our communities. While canned goods and dry foods are common in food banks and pantries, no one can live a healthy life on only non-perishable food. Cash donations are essential to purchasing more nutritious foods from reliable vendors.

Pay the Rent and the Refrigeration

Storage warehouse rent and electricity costs can be high. Donations of food must be stored in an environment that is safe and sanitary. This location must be well-maintained, spacious, and easily accessible via public transportation. Because of the high cost of renting, monetary donations can help.

Invest in a Project Manager or an Office Coordinator.

It’s common for volunteers to fill many positions at the food bank. A trained staff is necessary for every food bank to manage donations, volunteers, fundraising efforts, visitors, and food distribution on-site. Donations in kind assist in the hiring, training, and maintenance of the volunteers who make the food bank possible. Every food bank relies on monetary contributions to run smoothly, from the coordinator’s honorarium to the pantry manager’s salary.

Donating money to a food bank helps those in greatest need. Second Harvest of the Greater Valley is the place to go if you are looking for a way to give back and share your blessings. Contact us now. Together, we will make the world a better place for everyone.