What to donate to your local food bank during the holiday season

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Posted at 8:07 PM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 12:26:51-05

With the help of the community, food banks across Idaho are preparing for the holiday season. Here are a few things individuals interested in donating items should know.

Turkeys and hams are often donated to food banks, but that leaves a crucial part of the Thanksgiving holiday meal missing. Dan Clark with the Meridian Food Bank said people are currently looking for sides to complete their meals.

The Meridian Food Bank listed needed holiday items on their website. These items include black olives, chicken or vegetable broth, cranberry sauce, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, stuffing mixes, turkey or chicken gravy and yams.

One thing to keep in mind when donating canned items like fruits, veggies, or soups is whether individuals will have access to a can opener. Instead, consider donating cans with pull tabs.

“We have people who are homeless and who not only don’t have can openers, they don’t have any way to prepare...the food that they’re going to eat,” Clark said. “We try to make it as easy as we can on anybody that needs food and we want to make sure they get it.”

Providing those in need with fresh produce is a goal many food banks share.

Whitney Morgan, corporate and community relations coordinator, said The Idaho Foodbank has spent years building relationships with local farmers.

“It really truly helps us to get not only food to our neighbors, but nutritious food,” Morgan said. “And fresh from those farms, directly to our partners. It is so important.”