While financial contributions are most effective, “if what people can give is food, then give that food. Because that is always appreciated,” Fitzgerald says. Think shelf-stable dried and canned goods—pantry staples like beans, rice, pasta, soup, peanut butter, cereal—that you buy at the store or have sitting in your cupboards (just check the expiration date). “Our advice would be to give what you would want to eat,” Fitzgerald says. Since food banks are generally set up to receive large-scale donations, you’ll likely want to bring the goods to a food pantry near you.
Take action: Call your local food pantry (or check out their website) for information on what, where, and when to make food donations.