July 4, 2019 The best foods for your summer food drive Summer is a difficult season for families living in poverty. Children no longer have the option to eat in school breakfast and lunch programs, and parents often struggle to fill the groceries gap. Unfortunately, donations to local food banks also tend to drop off significantly when the weather gets warmer. If you’d like to help keep The Stop’s food bank and community meal programs stocked throughout the summer and fall, here’s a list of the best items to include in a food drive. What We’re Looking For: The Stop welcomes food donations that are fresh, wholesome, nutritious, and rich in the kinds of good ingredients you would want in your own home. Vegetables: Low-sodium canned vegetables and vegetable juices, canned tomatoes, and pasta sauces Fruits: Canned fruit, sugar-free applesauce, dried fruit, 100% fruit juices Fish/Beans/Nuts: Canned tuna or chicken, canned and dried beans, low-sodium broth or bean soups, unsalted nuts, unsweetened peanut butter, canned and dried lentils Dairy Alternatives: Shelf-stable unsweetened milk alternatives (rice, soy, almond, coconut etc.) Grains: Brown or wild rice, whole grain pasta, cereals, trans fat-free tortillas, old-fashioned oats or low-sugar oatmeal, whole grain crackers and other snacks, granola bars, gluten-free options Spices/Cooking Oils: Olive, canola, and vegetable oils, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, chili powders, taco seasonings, cinnamon, baking spices Baby Supplies: Baby food and formula, diapers (any size, but especially size 2-3), baby wipes Hygiene Items: Soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss We Do Not Accept: Opened products, expired or past the best-before date product, soda/pop or sugar-added beverages, potato chips, candy, chocolate bars, ramen noodles, canned pasta Due to our purchasing relationships with local farmers and vendors, donating money to The Stop is the single most effective way to increase your neighbours’ access to good food. Please consider recommending that your food drive participants offer a monetary donation to The Stop instead of purchasing items to donate. Questions about what to include in your food drive? Contact Monica Bettson at firstname.lastname@example.org.